Coral conservation

Coral reefs are vitally important to the marine environment. Although they cover less than 0.1% of the ocean floor worldwide, over 90% of marine species are either directly or indirectly dependent upon them for activities such as feeding, cleaning and nursery grounds. Coral reefs are productive ecosystems that not only support enormous biodiversity, but are also of immense value to mankind. Latest estimates suggest coral reefs provide close to US$30 billion each year in goods and services, including fisheries, tourism, coastal protection, source of medical advances and intrinsic value.

Coral reefs have survived tens of thousands of years of natural change, but many of them may not be able to survive the havoc brought on by mankind. Roughly one-quarter of coral reefs worldwide are already considered damaged beyond repair, with another two-thirds under serious threat. Threats include destructive fishing practices, overfishing, careless tourism, pollution, sedimentation, coral mining and climate change.

Fish bomb reporting

Despite the fact that it is banned in Sabah and the fact that it is a potentially life threatening activity for the person involved, fish bombing sadly still occurs and remains a major threat to our coral reefs. We assist the local authorities by reporting blasts.

In 2015, we assisted Shotspotter in trialling new technology capable of pinpointing the location of a blast within seconds of detonation. This information would be provided to the enforcement agencies allowing them to respond immediately.

Reef Check

We collaborate with Reef Check Malaysia to conduct annual Reef Check surveys in the Semporna region. These surveys allow us to monitor the long-term health of our reefs and can be used to inform management practices.

Any certified diver is eligible to participate in surveys after completing the 3-day Reef Check Ecodiver course. We have two experienced Reef Check Instructors and a Reef Check Course Director on our team who provide high quality training.

Reef Check

We collaborate with Reef Check Malaysia to conduct annual Reef Check surveys in the Semporna region. These surveys allow us to monitor the long-term health of our reefs and can be used to inform management practices.

Any certified diver is eligible to participate in surveys after completing the 3-day Reef Check Ecodiver course. We have two experienced Reef Check Instructors and a Reef Check Course Director on our team who provide high quality training.

Coral reef restoration

We are trialing a variety of techniques to determine the most suitable and successful cultivation method in our area. We collect coral fragments that have been damaged naturally and give them a second chance by attaching them to our coral structures. The structures require regular gardening, to remove competitors, and monitoring to record growth and survival rates. Once we have established best practices for our area we will use them to rehabilitate the damaged reefs that we have identified through our annual Reef Check surveys. 

COTS removal

On a healthy, balanced reef ecosystem, crown-of-thorns seastars (COTS) promote coral diversity. However, when the ecosystem is taken out of balance, outbreaks can occur, with devastating effect.

In late 2018 we dealt with a major COTS outbreak on Mabul. Working in collaboration with numerous Mabul dive operators, the Semporna District Office, Reef Check Malaysia and the Sabah Tourism Board we were able to remove more than 8,000 COTS over a 10 day period.

COTS removal

On a healthy, balanced reef ecosystem, crown-of-thorns seastars (COTS) promote coral diversity. However, when the ecosystem is taken out of balance, outbreaks can occur, with devastating effect.

In late 2018 we dealt with a major COTS outbreak on Mabul. Working in collaboration with numerous Mabul dive operators, the Semporna District Office, Reef Check Malaysia and the Sabah Tourism Board we were able to remove more than 8,000 COTS over a 10 day period.

Marine Week

Marine Week, with the theme of Pulauku Rumahku (My island, my home), is held annually in all Scuba Junkie locations – Mabul and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah; and Sangalaki, Komodo and Nusa Penida in Indonesia. The event is designed to bring people together to celebrate our oceans, learn more about them and to showcase local conservation and community programmes. We work closely with local conservation groups – such as Green Semporna in the Mabul region to run community-based conservation activities, such as clean-ups, upcycling workshops, local craft sales and clean-ups.