Thursday, April 06, 2006

Flippers Banned In Terengganu Waters

This is wonderful news indeed. The destruction of corals by people who do not know how to use flippers but insist on using them had gone on for far too long. Kudos to the Terengganu Government for finally implementing this ruling.

Terengganu bans flippers

KUALA TERENGGANU: Forget about using flippers when swimming or snorkelling at beach resorts here.

State authorities have banned the use of flippers in a bid to protect corals especially in the coastal waters off Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the state exco decided on the ban, which applies in coastal waters off all islands in the state.

However, it would not cover divers, he said.

"People who use flippers sometimes trample on the corals," Idris told newsmen after chairing the exco meeting at Wisma Darul Iman here yesterday.

"This is especially true for those learning how to swim and staying afloat."

Speaking from personal experience, Idris said he faced difficulties in balancing in the water when he first took up the activity two years ago.

He hoped resort operators would abide by the directive, which would be issued in about a week.

"I know some of them earn money by renting out flippers to tourists, but we have to protect the corals," he said.

Idris said the state government had not decided on the action to be taken against those who flout the ruling.

Malaysia Nature Society Parks and Special projects head Andrew Sebastian said it was a good move.

However, he hoped there would be stricter enforcement on regulations in marine parks against the gathering of corals and shells.

"Although this is banned, tourists are still doing it," he said.

Flippers should only be used in deeper waters and not at shallow waters where most people who visits Pulang Redang or Pulau Perhentian usually dwell when they go snorkelling. Most of the people who do not swim into deeper waters are usually those who do not know how to swim well enough thus also falling into the category of those who do not know how to use flippers.

I've seen with my own eyes so many times people trampling over the corals and sweeping them with their flippers. Hello?!? Flippers are meant to help you swim, so don't use them to walk around! If you want to be Donald Duck, do it in your own backyard!

I've approached and pointed out to some people before that they were standing on corals and not to do so but all I get is, "I where got stand on corals? This is rock-lah!". Simpletons. There are two types of corals in this world; soft and hard. Corals are not just the soft ones you always see on television or books, dumbass!

I've even seen people catching the marine fishes with their bare hands and holding them up in the air, proudly showing them to their family and friends! When I pointed out to them that they should not do that and it's lawfully wrong to do that, this is the reply I got - "Don't worry, I no harm the fish. I just hold it, not squeeze. It's not your fish also, why you care?". WTF?!? If you had not hold on to it tightly, it would have slipped out of your hands already, so yeah, you are squeezing it and hurting it. Why don't I hold you down underwater for a few minutes without any breathing gear and see how you feel? Anyway, you can refer to the Fisheries Act 1985 (Revised 1993) under Part IX Article 43 to judge if what he did was an offence or not.

Many people do not realise the cause of the dead corals washed up the shores of these beautiful islands with clear blue waters. They think it's a natural process. People not knowing how to use flippers but insist on using them is one of the main reasons. Over commercialisation of the islands is another reason. The affluents discharged from the chalets has reached a point where it is too much for the corals and other living marine creatures to take (yes, corals are living creatures!).

There should be a limit to how many visitors are allowed on these islands every year to help conserve the beauty of these islands and surrounding waters. Public awareness and educating the visitors of the island would really help a lot. The banning of flippers is a good first step but there's still much to do to improve the situation.

Corals take ages to form but seconds to destroy. Please be more educated the next time you go to a marine park. This is our natural heritage. Everyone is equally responsible for them. There's nothing wrong in admitting you do not know how to use flippers. In fact, it's a very noble thing indeed since you are helping to conserve the corals by not sweeping them away.

(pictures from various Internet sources)


  1. dave: want to visit terengganu? this is something for u to take note...

    well, thanks for pointing out the environmental importance. but u know what? i am starting to think that education is still not enough to educate some numb skulls. i've seen enough in campus to know how much the environment is worth to "educated" people, even to biologists. hope there will be more people who care... :(

  2. i've been advocating this for a long time now so i'm very glad that it's finally enforced. hope they will take more action to preserve the pristine state of our national heritage.

  3. exploiting our heritage, more like it...

    one funny thing i read in the papers regarding artificial reefs. they hardly get their facts correctly. in order to "protect" the coral reef, they suggest divers wear life jackets. that's what the article said. come on, man! what stupidity is this? divers? life jackets? how on earth are they supposed to 'dive' if their floating on the surface with damn life jackets and all their scuba gear? lame, i tell u. sometimes i wonder how they even print some things!

    well, sorry to talk so much crap. i'll shut up now. but u know how much conservation means to me, especially marine conservation. if only humans will be more responsible...

  4. the problem with papers is they do not have a scientific person to go through articles with scientific materials...they should seriously think of hiring scientists/researchers for that very purpose....i've seen too many mistakes in the papers for my liking...