Researcher lauds Brunei Bay’s healthy marine environment

National 1 minute, 40 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A RESEARCHER from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu’s (UMT) Institute of Oceanography and Environment recently lauded the healthy marine environment of the sultanate’s Brunei Bay.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, Associate Professor Dr Saifullah A Jaaman said Brunei’s side of the bay houses a number of ”indicator species” of marine mammals that are present all across the waters of Borneo.

One indicator species in particular that is in abundance in the waters of Brunei are the Irrawaddy Dolphins, he said.

He found a large group of the dolphins, around 25, when he conducted a preliminary survey in the waters of Brunei recently.

“For the Irrawaddy Dolphins, we can see them in many bays and estuaries all around the island of Borneo, (and) their existence is important because they are actually a symbol for a healthy marine environment.

“The fact that there are Dugongs and Irrawaddy Dolphins in Brunei Bay means that the quality of the marine environment of the bay is very good,” said Dr Saifullah.

He said the reason these marine mammals are referred to as indicator species is because these species won’t be present in an area if the marine environment isn’t in good condition.

Dr Saifullah came to Brunei recently to conduct studies as well as to participate in the International Symposium on Marine Biodiversity 2016 that was held last week at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism building.

During the symposium, he delivered a presentation entitled ‘Current Knowledge of Marine Mammals in the Bay of Brunei and the Way Forward for Research and Conservation’.

He said due to the healthy environment of Brunei waters in housing the indicator species of marine mammals, he hopes a collaboration can be established between UMT and the relevant agencies in Brunei.

Dr Saifullah added that he hoped that the collaboration could initiate a marine endangered species programme in Brunei that would further strengthen efforts in the conservation of marine mammals as well as the habitat of Brunei Bay.

The Brunei Times