Brunei needs regular monitoring of water quality
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BRUNEI needs to regularly monitor the quality of its water to maintain its healthy marine ecosystem, said researchers from Universiti Brunei Darussalan (UBD) yesterday.
Assistant Professor Dr Yasuaki Tanaka said that Brunei boasts good water quality filled with aquatic life.
The marine biologist explained that the sultanate can capitalise on this and turn the areas into tourism spots for recreational profits.
Dr Tanaka conducted a study at Pulau Pelong-Pelongan in the sultanate and found that the Island has a rich aquatic biodiversity that needs to be monitored.
He said there is a need to preserve such aquatic ecosystems as the organisms might be useful for nutrition or medicinal purposes while promoting the tourism industry.
“Not only corals, but other organisms such as sea cucumbers and seaweeds, which might be useful for medicinal purposes, chemical substances as well as food, should be protected,” he said.
“In order to conserve valuable marine environments in Brunei, proper water management and monitoring are necessary,” he added.
The assistant professor explained there are mainly two causes of environmental changes – global and local problems.
“The global problems such as global warming and seawater acidification proceed on a global scale and we can’t stop these changes immediately,” he said.
“On the other hand, local problems such as water pollution – for example, wastewater discharges including nutrients, organic matters, chemicals and heavy metals – can immediately be stopped and managed by the efforts and policies of local people.
“Bruneians need to continually try to maintain clean aquatic environments. All of the waste-water and materials people throw into rivers will reach the ocean,” he added.
“It is now necessary to continuously monitor water conditions at several sites in Brunei and to evaluate how the aquatic ecosystems are affected by human activities,” he said.
Fellow lecturer Professor Dato Muhammad Majid also emphasised the importance on protecting the sea water.
“Brunei’s water in the sea or rivers doesn’t face many serious water pollution problems and the marine culture is very rich and unusual,” said the professor.
“Most of the water organisms need pristine or clean water. We have to ensure that our water are not polluted. Once the contamination comes in, it will weaken the organisms and they will slowly disappear.”
He also said that good water quality could attracts sea animals such as dugongs.
“There is a big population of dugongs in Pulau Muara Besar. Their main food is seagrass that needs clean water to grow,” he said.
The Brunei Times