The state government of Penang plans to gazette the man-made island located next to the first Penang bridge as a marine sanctuary, to be known as Middle Bank Marine Sanctuary.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said Environment Committee Chairman Phee Boon Poh has been selected to lead a team that will look into various issues, including the island’s proposed gazettement, reported Free Malaysia Today (FMT).
“I hope they will complete their first phase of work as soon as possible for us to make a further announcement on the marine sanctuary,” said Chow at the launch of a website for “Penang 2030 Phase 2: Accelerating Penang 2030” and quoted by FMT.
The launch was also attended by Aileen Tan, Director of the Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (CEMACS) at Universiti Sains Malaysia. She described the marine sanctuary as a good idea, in terms of creating a green lung for George Town and protecting the environment.
“This marine sanctuary can become an education and awareness hub for the state government,” said Tan as quoted by FMT.
She added that CEMACS will provide the state government expert support in gazetting the island.
The man-made island, known as Pulau Gazumbo, was created during the bridge’s construction and is the site of the biggest seagrass meadow within the Straits of Melaka, dubbed as Middle Bank (Tebing Tengah).
It features a vast array of marine life, from shellfish like horseshoe crab to marine algae. It also serves as a feeding ground for various marine creatures.
Image source from Penang Seagrass Project’s Facebook Page