Visitors come to Redang to enjoy the beauty of the marine environment and are responsible for protecting it for their future generations to enjoy. As a visitor, you can help by obeying park rules and communicating them to friends and family. Be a responsible visitor.
The beaches and coral reefs at Redang are the primary attractions for the thousands of visitors each year. While park regulations exist to protect the marine environment in the Redang Marine Park, they are not always effectively enforced by the authorities. In order to protect the marine life and preserve them for future visitors to enjoy, every resort and every visitor needs to take personal ownership and responsibility to care for the coral reefs and marine environment, especially when each year sees increasing numbers of visitors to the island.
To put this into perspective, the total number of visitors to the Terengganu Marine Parks quadrupled from just 52,634 visitors in 2000 to 216,404 visitors in 2010 (source: Dept. of Marine Parks, Malaysia). If we assume that 5% of visitors (or 1 in 20) behave irresponsibly, that means over 10,000 people threatening or damaging the marine environment through their careless acts each year. Folks, if you want your children or grandchildren to enjoy Redang, then act responsibly and spread the word, else there'll be nothing left to see in a few years time!
Oil from ships can threaten the marine environment, like this oil-covered seaweed.
You can also help by choosing an eco-friendly resort to stay in where possible. If you are not sure, ask the resort staff and management to explain or demonstrate how they are helping to protect the marine environment. Simple things like how they dispose of sewage, dirty water and kitchen trash, how and where they wash the towels and bedsheets, how they store and dispose of oil or diesel for their power generators and general observations about how the resort staff operate, whether their staff are knowledgeable and well-trained in environmentally-friendly procedures and actions. As a paying guest, you have the right to know - it's only a question of whether you care enough to ask. The resorts that excel in this area will only be too happy to show you since they would have invested money, time and thoughtful planning in the resort construction and daily operating procedures. After all, being eco-friendly is good advertisement and makes good business sense. It is usually the resorts that are not eco-friendly that will be uncooperative or try to hide these from you.
Here are 3 simple rules you should always remember and follow whenever you are in Redang or any other protected marine park.
Signboards with the marine park regulations are displayed at various public locations around the island. These show the prohibitions in sections 44 and 45 of the Fisheries Act 1985 which is shown below. Section 25 of this Act states that offenders shall be liable to a fine not exceeding MYR20,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or both. Seriously folks, please observe the regulations else the bars you'll be seeing won't be those on a Sergeant Major damselfish!