DUNGUN, Sept 10 — The Terengganu government will gazette the waters surrounding Pulau Tenggol as a state park to preserve and protect its coral reefs and marine life.

Terengganu State Secretary Datuk Seri Tengku Farok Hussin Tengku Abd Jalil said a study is being conducted to expand the gazetting process from the land area to the waters around the island, which is popular among local and international scuba drivers.

“We have gazetted the terrestrial area of Pulau Tenggol on February 2 but I believe we need to conduct a reassessment to gazette the waters of the island to protect the coral reefs and marine life.

“There are 19 coral reef locations in Pulau Tenggol and they must be protected from destructive activities, as some scuba divers are unethical,” he told reporters at the Tenggol Beach and Underwater Clean Up with over 100 volunteers, yesterday.

Also present was Terengganu Park Management Council director Tengku Mohd Ariffin Tengku A. Rahman.

Tengku Farok Hussin said the state government is in the process of gazetting other locations including Pulau Rhu in Besut which boasts unique and special biodiversity of flora and fauna.

The initiative is still at the engagement-session level and expected to be realised middle of next year, he said.

“There are several locations of islands, Tasik Kenyir and Setiu Wetland...we will gazette Pulau Rhu as the area has an endangered species of bats.

“This process has to be done one by one because it takes time and involves costs,” he added. — Bernama