Langkawi's Coral Reefs Get a Helping Hand
Artificial coral reefs to boost fishing and eco-tourism industries
Langkawi, Malaysia, 2 Dec 2014: Lafarge Malaysia Berhad and The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort, Langkawi, are moving forward with a full-scale deployment of the Artificial Reef Module System (ARMS) in the vicinity of Datai Bay, following the pilot deployment of five modules last year which are successfully attracting marine life.
A total of 52 modules will be deployed, covering over 1,000 square-metre area with a maturation period of approximately 10 years. The initiative is aimed at regenerating the 8,000 year-old fringing coral reefs, which are declining due to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, as well as ocean acidification caused by carbon dioxide.
The modules have been designed to create maximum 'hiding spaces' for fish, in sustaining the underwater eco-system and preserving the biodiversity of marine species. They will allow juvenile fish in shallow waters to move further offshore and encourage reproduction, creating a sustainable local fishing industry.
Bradley Mulroney, President & Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Malaysia said, "We are committed to the Langkawi community, home to one of our biggest plants for more than 30 years. By building these modules, we and our Langkawi employees are proud to be part of a solution; sustaining the fishing industry which many of the locals are involved in, and
"It is Lafarge's global ambition to play a significant role in Building Better Cities. We want to contribute our solutions towards the sustainable development of towns and cities around the world. Therefore, we will continue to focus on refining the materials and design of the ARMS to ensure that it will attract more fish, and contribute to sustainable development."
The modules were created specifically for the unique nature of the existing coral reef fish species at Datai Bay by Dr Gerry Goeden, Consultant Marine Biologist at The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort Langkawi in partnership with Mr Kee Alfian, Reef Ecologist, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
"The ecological cost from the devastating effects of the Tsunami which occurred on 26 December 2004 was great," said Christian Metzner, General Manager of The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort. "The fringing reef in front of The Andaman acted as a safety barrier, protecting both people and property by absorbing the force and energy from the waves, suffering enormous damage in the process."
"The reefs provide home and shelter to over 25% of fish in the ocean and up to two million marine species. They are also a nursery for the juvenile forms of many marine creatures. We have a wonderful opportunity to not only improve the environmental ‘condition' of Langkawi's reefs and fisheries but to create educational, recreational, and research activities. Artificial reefs have been used for a long time in other parts of the world and it is a great step forward in marine conservation in Southeast Asia. Together with Lafarge Malaysia, we hope to create a truly global solution for a global crisis," he added.
Earlier, Lafarge Malaysia and The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort, inked a Letter of Intent for academic cooperation with University Malaysia Terengganu. This will boost academic collaboration, training of staff and students, and promotion of joint publications, amongst others.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Lafarge Malaysia Berhad
Lafarge Malaysia is listed on the main board of Bursa Malaysia and is a parent of a group of companies in Malaysia and Singapore.
Additional information is available at www.lafarge.com.my
About Lafarge Group
More information is available on Lafarge's website:www.lafarge.com
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com
About the Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts
For more information, please visit www.luxurycollection.com.
CONTACTS - MEDIA RELATIONS
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