MIRI: A conservation, education and public awareness (Cepa) programme was launched at the Miri-Sibuti Coral Reef National Park here yesterday.

The programme is a collaboration between the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) and Petronas while the honorary Wildlife Rangers are facilitating its activities.

Acting State Secretary Datuk Jaul Samion launched the programme at Pasar Ikan Batu 1, Lutong, Baram.

Jaul, who chairs the programme, said it was a testament to the success of its reef balls project.

He noted that the local fishermen were happy and tourism opportunities were increasing with more diversified recreational activities such as scuba diving and sport fishing.

“It has gone a long way since SFC first introduced the reef balls project in our marine ecosystem conservation efforts and Petronas has the farsightedness to forge their CSR collaboration in the exercise,” he said.

He revealed that the state government would release more reef balls at strategic locations along Sarawak’s shorelines in efforts to increase marine resources.

To date, SFC has deployed some 1,750 reef balls at various locations which had become underwater haven for marine life and rich fishing ground.