Pulau Undan, located in Melaka, Malaysia, is a remarkable marine park known for its rich biodiversity and stunning coral gardens. However, like many other marine ecosystems around the world, it faces numerous challenges such as pollution, overfishing, and habitat destruction. To address these issues and conserve its marine life, Jabatan Perikanan Melaka has invited us, a group of individual scuba diver volunteers to remove ghost nets and promote coral propagation in the area.
Ghost nets, often lost or abandoned fishing nets, pose a significant threat to marine life. These nets continue to trap and kill marine animals, including fish, turtles, and dolphins, long after they have been discarded. Understanding the urgency to address this issue, the marine park conservation program at Pulau Undan has initiated a volunteer-led effort to remove these deadly nets from the surrounding waters.
Empty can make most noise, won’t you agree with that? Well, many people are like that. They talk a lot when it comes to conservation works, but when asked to contribute their time, efforts and energy, most of them shy away from getting their hands dirty.
I’ve seen plenty of those all talks and no action, but my teammates are not like that. They have that charismatic quiet strength in them. They’re definitely all action and not much talk and walk their talks with the CAN DO attitude.
Underwater clean up work is never an easy task. Even more so if the dive site is a low vis site. Some certain sites in Pulau Undan where most ghost net lies are exactly that-not for petty divers. Extensive dive plans are usually made to ensure the safety of the divers and it takes a lot of guts to do this kind of conservation work. The method and dive plans used for ghost net removals in limited vis sites is totally different from sites that offer crystal clear view.
If there’s somethin’ strange in the neighborhood Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! There’s somethin’ weird and it don’t look good Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! If there’s ghost net strangling corals under the sea, who you’re gonna call? GHOSTNET BUSTERS! 😂😂😂😂 Yep. My alter ego Auntie Cleaner is back in Pulau Undan at Taman Laut Melaka again this month. As usual, we were assigned to do underwater clean up again and here’s what my superhero teammates hauled up. More than 200kg worth of ghost nets! This time around I was also given the opportunity to visit and study the new fish homes and coral table over there where we learn to do some coral propagation stuff after our clean up works were done. Admittedly, my knowledge in that department is abit lacking and I’ve learned quite a few things during this volunteering trip, particularly in fish and coral identification study. I am grateful that things went smoothly this time in comparison to the previous round where it was quite nasty terms of undercurrent and visibility and we managed to complete the task given without a hitch. I like working with this bunch of buddies. They’re the best teammates ever and they always keep my moral up. They’re no nonsense type of people, and they always gets the job done quietly. Thank you everyone for diving safe and the job well done. Thank you for taking care of me throughout the entire trip and thank you Jabatan Perikanan Melaka for inviting us. Your trust in our ability is most appreciated. Pictures credit to photographer extraordinaire Abang Syam Cino . pakistani dating girls dating stuttgart germany #ssimermaid #underwatercleanup #dofmelaka dating stuttgart germany pakistani dating girls gemini woman dating a libra man widower dating site blueoceansprogram, #ssiblueoceans #marineecology @blueoceansprogram♬ Trip – Axero
Here’s a tribute video to my teammates, the volunteer divers for the Marine Park Conservation program by Jabatan Perikanan Melaka (DOF Melaka).
I claim no credit for the footage of the videos. Footage was mostly contributed by Azmir Khalid Syam Cino and Abang Rocky.
Equipped with cutting tools and specialized equipment, the Ghost Net team carefully navigate the reefs and search for any entangled nets. These nets are then cut loose and carefully brought to the surface, ensuring that no further damage is caused to the fragile coral reefs or the marine lives dwelling there. This isn’t an easy job at all, considering that Pulau Undan is famous for its low visibility and rough currents. Any lesser divers would give up abort the dive within minutes of entering these challenging sites.
Here’s what my teammates managed to bring up this time around.
More than 200kg worth of ghost nets.
Can you imagine what sort of damage that these have made and would have still been making should these still remain at depth in Pulau Undan? I’m glad we managed to remove this to prevent anymore damages in the area.
However, the conservation efforts go beyond just removing ghost nets. Recognizing the vital role that coral reefs play in maintaining the delicate balance of the marine ecosystem, our team also actively participates in coral propagation initiatives where we work alongside local experts to identify healthy coral colonies and carefully collect fragments for propagation.
I had the opportunity to visit the coral propagation table for a little while at Pulau Undan after the ghost net removal was done, and discovered that coral propagation works demanded totally different skill sets in comparison to removing ghost nets. It requires a lot of meticulous patience and fine motor skills apart from needing to be mindful of the marine creatures that might be curious about you while you’re working. This field of underwater clean up and conservation definitely requires a lot of knowledge and classroom efforts. You need to study, study, study and do more studies before you even consider doing this.
On another note, I saw lotsa coral fragments scattered around; which is not at the coral table area during inspection and I’m not sure what causes such a terrible mess. I guess this site needs more observation and extra care from us. Logically, that’s not supposed to happen, but hey…the underwater world can be unpredictable, so there is that.
That said, I’m glad that me and my buddies managed to complete the task given with ease. During this dive, we were supposed to remove dead coral fragments and quickly replace it with new ones, after which, clean ups in the surrounding area; eg: remove rubbish and ghost net pieces are resumed.
I have to say, the ‘riding the wave skills’ that I learned during mermaiding really comes in handy while doing clean up work over here at this particular site. As it’s really shallow dives, divers can be easily affected by the rolling waves.I would have felt this site particularly difficult should I have not learned this skill before.
I’ve learned a lot from this single dive and am hoping to develop more skills through this from now onwards.
Volunteering for Marine Park Conservation Program by DOF Melaka. Dive site: Pulau Undan, Melaka. Task assigned: Coral propagation and cleaning up coral table. I claim no credit to the video. Footages were taken by underwater photographer extraordinaire @syamcino #marineecology #ssiblueoceans #blueoceansprogram widower dating site gemini woman dating a libra man pakistani dating girls dating stuttgart germany dating stuttgart germany #underwatercleanup♬ Mood On – Vin Music
Video footage materials were taken by underwater photographer extraordinaire Syam Cino and I claim no rights whatsoever to it. Video is strictly for personal documentary purposes only.
Coral propagation involves the process of growing new corals from these collected fragments and we have to attach these fragments to artificial structures called coral nurseries, providing them with a suitable environment to grow and thrive. Once these new corals reach a sufficient size, they are transplanted back into the natural reef, helping to restore and enhance the overall health and diversity of the marine park.
In all honesty, it’s not an easy job protecting the marine life at Pulau Undan. Our efforts hopefully will not only contribute to the preservation of a fragile ecosystem but also raise awareness about the negative impact of human activities on marine environments.
Here, I would like to thank all my teammates for a job well done. I hope that our volunteering efforts will make a substantial impact on the health and sustainability of our oceans. I really hope that our collective actions will one day transform Pulau Undan into a model marine park where corals are thriving, and marine species can flourish undisturbed.
Disclaimer: We were invited by DOF Melaka and we were not representing or associated with any profit/non-profit organization or any non-governmental bodies during this program. We are individual volunteers and are self-funded. We were not paid to do the conservation work, and received nothing in compensation for our efforts.