Malaysia has just opened its largest marine park in Sabah called the Tun Mustapha Marine Park.
Spanning approximately 890,000ha across Kudat, Pitas, and Kota Marudu, the marine protected area is now part of the massive Coral Triangle and is home to over 2,000 species of reef fish, nearly 600 different species of reef-building corals alone, aquatic plants as well as endangered species such as green sea turtles and dugongs.
For enquiring minds wondering what is the Coral Triangle, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) explains that it is a global centre of marine biodiversity; a 6 million km2 area spanning Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, and the Solomon Islands.
“Tourism is among the main sectors for Sabah and the country, and that is why it is important for us to ensure that our natural resources are protected for generations to come,” said Sabah chief minister Musa Aman, adding that such a move would increase tourism revenue and provide business opportunities for the local villagers .
According to Sabah Parks’ website, around 80,000 local people from diverse ethnic groups survive off fishing in the designated area.
The Guardian’s Johnny Langenheim noted that Tun Mustapha Marine Park still has so much of untapped potential for nature based tourism development. Aside from diving, the area is surrounded with “beautiful white sand beaches, pretty islands (more than 50 in all), stunning seascapes and several key turtle nesting area”.
To find more on Tun Mustapha Marine Park and other protected marine parks nearby, check out the Sabah Parks website.
Source: The Guardian.