Expert: Severe soil erosion may result in loss of marine life
GEORGE TOWN: Severe soil erosion along the coastline may result in loss of marine life on the seafloor, says Prof Datuk Dr Aileen Tan.
The Universiti Sains Malaysia Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (Cemacs) director said that although the effects of severe soil erosion in the coastal areas were mostly physical, they might also eventually affect the marine ecosystem.
“Soil erosion may lead to loss of our benthic organisms such as molluscs and crustaceans, ” she said.
“They are affected through loss or degradation of habitats.”
Referring to the severe coastal erosion along Batu Ferringhi, she said her studies had found no changes in water quality in the area since four years ago.
“We have recorded no changes in the amount of dissolved oxygen, salinity or temperature since 2017, ” she said.
“The soil erosion could be caused by activities that changed the hydrodynamics of the area.
“It is certain that the hydrodynamics of the Batu Ferringhi coastal areas has been altered.
“The hydrodynamics may have changed the directions of how waves hit the shorelines in terms of angle and strength.
“Project developers in the area may need to refer to their consultants who are supposed to do the hydrology analysis.”