Greening the Blue with My Coral 3.0
6 August 2018

Artificial reef alive with thriving corals this third installment of the Eco-Marine expedition by the International Medical School of Management and Science University (MSU)

Coral reefs are nature’s own fish-aggregators. Their decline, however, reduces fish numbers to critical levels, affecting an important food source while jeopardizing the entire marine ecosystem.  Management and Science University (MSU) dives in to green the oceans again.



MSU greening the blue through coral propagation by artificial-reef seeding

The third edition of the university’s Eco-Marine project My Coral took MSUrians back to Geluk Island, Terengganu, where volunteers from MSU’s MBBS, BMS, DMS, DMA, FMS, FLW, BGDA, and BTESL programmes were joined by their alumni seniors from MBBS and BBM. Contributing to the environmental cause with their coral adoption were alumnus Faizul Azwan, founder of the Fintech Empowerment Group (FEG), and alumnus Dr Khairul Salikin, owner of The Laundry Day. Project Director Muhammad Syakir Abd Halek led the way.  



Reef decline is a threat to marine life sustainability


Arriving at the island village of Rhu Sepuluh, the group kick-started their expedition with health screening by the Medical Team at the local farmer’s market. This was followed by health education at the Rhu Sepuluh KEMAS Kindergarten, and fish-net sewing as well as bubu-making activities with the fishermen folk.



Caring for community wellbeing  



Starting the young with personal healthcare 



Sewing hope into future sustainability of the world’s fishes

 

The scope of the expedition extended to turtle conservation with the World Wildlife Fund Malaysia. Sea turtles help keep oceans healthy by maintaining marine ecosystem balance. They trim ocean beds by feeding on sea grass, and nourish coral reefs by the nutrients they transport. Turtle eggs provide nutrients to the beach, important to produce strong dune vegetation that allows plant roots to hold beach land better.  




Sending baby turtles on their way to the marine ecosystem where they belong 


My Coral seeks to raise public awareness and education about the importance of artificial reefs. Its aim of aiding coral propagation through reef seeding is supplemented by development, protection, and rehabilitation of mangrove forests. Mangroves prevent land erosion by stabilizing sediments with their tangled roots, filtering pollutants and mitigating shoreline damage by storms as they break up hurricane winds and waves. Nurseries to various fish species including coral-reef fish, mangroves are also home to crabs, shrimp and mollusk, food sources that are especially important to coastal communities. 
 
Preparing the MSUrians for coral propagation was a workshop supported by the Fisheries Research Institute Department of Coral and Artificial Reef Research, delivered by a marine biologist from Dorken Reef Resources. 



MSU’s My Coral programme began in 2016 with ten custom-built frames