The integrated eco-resource management study conducted on Marudu Bay by a team of university researchers is almost completed, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Dr Maximus Ongkili.
Speaking when launching the Marudu Bay Carnival here today, he said there search and development projects coordinated by the ministry’s National Oceanography Directorate involved funding of RM1.2million.
“The study, involving Universiti Pertanian Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Sabah, spells out sustainable development programmes to preserve the marine and eco-resources in Marudu Bay, while exploiting the resources to uplift the livelihood of the people there,” he said.
Some of the findings of the studies, such as involving UPM’s study on”Mangrove Ecosystem Study and Resource Management for Seafood and Sustainable Ecotourism for Coastal Communities”, had been documented, he added.
“As a result of the study, a workshop on eco-tourism management wasconducted for 32 participants from eight villages which have the potential to bedeveloped for eco-tourism.
“The series of workshop exposed participants on the eco-diversity of MaruduBay, its potentials and on community-based eco-tourism. It garnered goodresponse from participants and we hope that it will result in them seriously undertaking eco-tourism as a new business opportunity,” he added.
Ongkili said that the UPM study also identified several business opportunities in Marudu Bay including green tourism, homestays, aquaculture, seacucumber and cage fish rearing, oyster breeding, sea transportation, mangrove boardwalks and bird observatories.
Efforts are being made to not only get the local community involved in the ventures but also for investors to take up the business opportunities in Marudu Bay, which would spur more economic activities for Kota Marudu, he added.
“Marudu Bay is rich in biodiversity, mangrove swamp and marine resources and its valuable resources have been documented since more than 400 years ago,” he said.
Marudu Bay covers Kudat, Pitas and Kota Marudu districts, up till Pulau Banggi. Ong kili also urged the people to protect the bay and adhere to sound conservation practices to ensure sustainability of the marine resources since Marudu Bay is home to over 60 species of almost-extinct birds, mammals and reptiles.
The Marudu Bay Carnival held at Kpg Tanjung Batu was to celebrate the eco-diversity of Marudu Bay and spread awareness on the importance of preserving the nature.
It has been an annual affair for Kota Marudu since 2006.