Sabah Ports – Seagrass relocation

As an ocean based business, Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd (SPSB) has a strong interest in the responsible management of ocean and maritime resources. Great emphasis is placed for our ports to be involved in innovative conservation efforts that supports ocean sustainability. Since 2012, SPSB and the Borneo Marine Research Institute (BMRI) of University Malaysia Sabah have collaborated on various projects.  This includes safeguarding of coral reef ecology, coral conservation in the Sapangar Bay, Sabah, Malaysia and funding a study on the status of heavy metal pollution in coastal sediments of Sapangar Bay and Kota Kinabalu city.

SPSB has once again engaged BMRI by collaborating on a seagrass transplantation project. The aim of the project is to safeguard Sapangar Bay’s seagrass inheritance from further degradation and impact by future development that is expected to take place within the Sapangar vicinity. Through the project, the following were achieved:

  1. Relocation of seagrass to an identified site
  2. Identification of the biological and physical factors that affect seagrass restoration
  3. Awareness program on seagrass and their habitat

Most of the relocation were carried out between January and June 2019 (between the end of inter monsoon and early south west monsoon) during low tide. The highest seagrass shoots (536 Enhalus Acoroides shoots) was planted in January 2019. Two species of seagrass transplanted in February were 206 shoots of Enhalus acoroides and 216 shoots of Cymodocea rotundata.  Seagrass from Enhalus Acoroides species was transplanted in March and June 2019 with number of shoots planted at 300 shoots and 170 shoots, respectively.

Subsequent to relocation, monitoring of the planted seagrass for biological and physical factors that affects the seagrass survival were carried out between February to August 2019.  Awareness program on seagrasses and their habitat were also organised within the project period September 2018 to September 2019.