Malaysia: Peninsula and Borneo - July 2006
Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text:
The acanthaster starfish, a coral eater, is called "crown of thorns" in English... or COT. And this Sunday, it's the COT collectors' day!
200 divers and 3,000 TOCs harvested
The crowns of thorns" harvest in Tioman, which I mentioned in the previous post, gives rise to a small ceremony, the next day, with lunch offered at the restaurant Nazri 1 from the end of the beach, to the more than 200 divers who participated in the operation.
An official makes a short speech in hesitant English at the microphone. In all, more than 3,000 bugs were collected. That's twice as many as last year.
I am not an expert in this field (and the environmental officer for the island even less so, as last year, the said official confused sea urchins and COTs, as one of the diving instructors mischievously told me), but in my humble opinion, this is a drop in the ocean (so to speak). As well intentioned as it may seem, this harvest, conducted only once a year, will surely not affect the local TOC population in the long term.
For my part, I think that it is mainly aimed at promoting the image of Tioman, for tourism development purposes, with financial objectives at stake, rather than really saving the reefs. The reefs would rather need to start by taking care of the waste treatment on the island (there's a lot of work to do!) and of the waste water discharge... But this, obviously, is more complicated and less fun to organize, as an operation.
Well, I confess, I'm being unkind. Each diver was given a small honorary diploma (it doesn't eat bread). I got mine...