The proposal was announced at the launch event for “Penang 2030 Phase 2: Accelerating Penang 2030”
According to Free Malaysia Today (FMT), the man-made island next to the first Penang bridge, Pulau Gazumbo, will be developed into a marine sanctuary by the state government.
Pulau Gazumbo, created during the construction of the bridge, is known as Middle Bank (Tebing Tengah) because it is the site of the largest seagrass meadow in the Straits of Melaka.
Various marine life, from shellfish such as horseshoe crab to marine algae, live on this site as it is also a feeding ground for many marine creatures.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state government is working to gazette the island to be called the “Middle Bank Marine Sanctuary”.
He also added that Phee Boon Poh, environment committee chairman, has been selected to lead a team that will look into various issues, including the island’s proposed gazettement.
“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,” Chow said at the launch of a website for “Penang 2030 Phase 2: Accelerating Penang 2030”.
Aileen Tan, director at Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (Cemacs), said the marine sanctuary was a good proposal for conserving the environment and creating a green lung for George Town.
“This marine sanctuary can become an education and awareness hub for the state government,” Tan said.
Expert support to the state government to gazette the island will also be provided by Cemacs.
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