Community understanding & management of dugong & seagrass resources in Johor, Malaysia (MY3)

Leela Rajamani A/P Ramnatha Rajamani1, Wan Mustaffa Wan Din1, Norizan Bt. Esa2, Sim Yee Kwang1 & Nurul Farhana Low Bt. Abd.3
1Centre For Marine & Coastal Studies (CEMACS), Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM Penang, Malaysia.
2School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM Penang, Malaysia.
3School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM Penang, Malaysia.
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  Executive Summary of Research Proposal
(This Project is executed by The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, with financing from the GEF and implementation support by UNEP. The project execution is technically supported by the UNEP CMS Dugong MoU Secretariat; Sep 2015 - Sep 2018)
 
MY3 seeks to assist local communities in understanding the ecological and economic importance of conserving dugong and seagrass resources and to improve local capacity to manage these resources more effectively in harmony with social, cultural and economic needs. To this end, a public education campaign will be initiated in Pulau Tinggi, employing posters, educational materials and the distribution of a dugong education storybook, targeting all sections of the community including school children, housewives and fishermen. The campaign will aim to educate the public on best practices associated with dugong and seagrass management, including: boating activity and safe boat speeds; first responses for the rescue of live stranded and incidentally caught dugongs; seagrass habitat protection; and safe waste management. MY3 will also introduce a dugong monitoring programme to local people, conducted every six months to stimulate interest in dugong conservation, record reported sightings and develop a digital map of incidences which will be shared with local residents. Building upon these activities, community opinions will be gauged regarding the form of conservation management required, a pretest conducted (operated by the community itself), and a subsequent management initiative refined, approved and implemented.

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Eco-engineering: Design with nature

Chee Su Yin1, Louise Firth2, Cheah Chee Ban3 & Aileen Tan Shau-Hwai4
1Centre For Marine & Coastal Studies (CEMACS), Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM Penang, Malaysia.
2School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering), Plymouth University, B524, Portland Square, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8AA, United Kingdom.
3School of Housing, Building & Planning (HBP), Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM Penang, Malaysia.
4School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM Penang, Malaysia.
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Summary of Research
(Rufford Small Grant, United Kingdom; Jan 2016 - Apr 2017)
(The Royal Society, International Exchange Scheme, United Kingdom; Nov 2015 - Dec 2017)

Penang is the fastest growing state in Malaysia with extensive land reclamation leading to the construction of extensive artificial coastlines and large artificial offshore islands. Research is required into ways that artificial coastlines can be built to meet engineering requirements, whilst providing relevant ecosystem services: ecological engineering. Much of this research has been done in temperate regions with relatively benign conditions. Ecological engineering can successfully enhance biodiversity in temperate climates but the benefits in tropical regions remains untested. If taxpayer's money is to be spent on expensive ecological engineering, it is important to know when & where it will succeed.

Food & man: Towards improving sustainable advancement of crustacean mariculture. An introduction to the crustacean culture laboratory

Annette Jaya Ram
Centre for Marine & Coastal Studies (CEMACS), Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM Penang, Malaysia.
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Summary of Research

Eliminating hunger, promoting health and reducing poverty has been one of the key roles of the fisheries and aquaculture sector. Crustaceans, like other fish and seafood, are nutritious and are a vital source of protein and essential nutrients, especially for many poorer members of the global community. However, it is important to initiate focuses on promoting sustainable use and conservation of aquatic renewable resources in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner (FAO, 2014). Reliance on wild fisheries is heavily impacting the population of many a species. It is our duty as humans to respect and exercise responsible development of the aquaculture sector to ensure lasting benefits for food security and economic growth for the community. Crustaceans such as prawns, crabs and lobsters are source of nutrition and food for humans. Without a doubt they are also popular due to their delicious flesh and flavour. Mud crab (Scylla spp.) aquaculture has gained the interest of many in the coastal areas of southern Asia, south-east Asia and also in southern China (Paterson & Mann, 2011). The relatively high prices and marketability of mud crabs have further increased the popularity of these crustaceans as candidate mariculture species. These tasty morsels have been the subject of study and been investigated to satisfy the ever increasing human demand for crabs as food.

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The Population Study of Keyhole Sand Dollar Echinodiscus Truncates (Echinoidea: Astriclypeidae) in the Intertidal Zone of Penang National Park, Malaysia

Sim Yee Kwang1, Masthurah Abd.1 & Khairun Yahya2
1Centre For Marine & Coastal Studies (CEMACS), Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM Penang, Malaysia.
2School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM Penang, Malaysia.
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Summary of Research (USM Short-Term Grant; Aug 2014 - Aug 2016)

Sand dollar belongs to the class Echinoidea, one of the five classes of Phylum Echinodermata which are marine benthic animal, and therefore all their activities and adaptations are related to ocean bottom (Hyman, 1955). The Echinoidea are either globular, oval or discoid shape with an endoskeleton shell or test, oriented with the oral surface downward. Irregular echinoids are considered a suspension feeder because sand dollar feed on suspended organic particulate matter in the water currents. Sand dollar also play an important role in reworking the sediments and regeneration of nutrients in the substrate through their feeding activity since they are deposit feeders, which process fine organic matter that settles on the seafloor (Kang et al., 2007). Animal from family Astriclypeidae have various specialized podia, spines, cilia, tube feet, mucus-secreting glands and the pedicellariae and a small pincher like organs with moveable jaws that involved in the feeding.

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