Tioman corals dying, says diver

Nik Naizi Husin The Star 10 Jun 10;

PULAU TIOMAN: A team of divers has found that corals here have changed colour, a signal that they are dying.
Deepsea distress: Divers off Pulau Batu Malang are concerned that the corals there are turning white, a signal that they are dying. Above: Some of the affected staghorn corals.

“The cabbage corals, brain corals and staghorn corals have turned white,” said Kids Scuba director and scuba educator Syed Abdul Rahman Syed Hassan.

He said the underwater temperature had also changed.

“In my numerous dives here previously, the temperature was between 25°C and 27°C. However, in my two days of underwater discovery, the temperature was at 32°C,” he said.

Syed Abdul Rahman led a group of divers on Sunday and Monday for activities at Kampong Salang and Pulau Batu Malang here.

His team dived 26m deep and about 300m from the Kampung Salang beach on the first day.

The following day, they were at the same depth at the Pulau Batu Malang coral site, which is 200m from Pulau Tulai.

Syed Abdul Rahman’s forecast was that the corals in Tioman Island would die soon due to the warmer weather.

“There are some corals which are still intact and colourful. However, most of them are changing colour, showing that they are not healthy.”

He hoped that the wet weather would come soon.

During his four-day stay in Kampong Salang, he said the villagers told him that the climate was hotter now. “What is happening to the corals is quite sad. I would not be surprised to see all of them turning white and dying,” he said.

He also said that he found more sea urchins during his dive.

The colour of death: Heat killing Tioman corals
Straits Times 11 Jun 10;


Corals in the waters off Pulau Tioman have changed colour, a sign that they are dying, a team of divers from Kids Scuba School found.

The affected corals include brain corals and staghorn corals. The reason could be a change in underwater temperature due to warmer weather, The Star reported. Previously, the underwater temperature was between 25 deg C and 27 deg C. However, it was found to be 32 deg C this week.

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