For the past month, Kota Kinabalu has been getting ready to receive Ronan Keating for his weekend performance for “Save the Giants” at Pulau Gaya. But that pales in comparison to why he’s actually coming to Sabah.
Four years… that’s how long the team at the Marine Ecology Research Centre (MERC) at Mahalom Bay, Gaya Island has worked on the propagation and care of Giant Clams. So why the epic effort on trying to save clams?
Why They Need To Be Saved
There are 8 species of Giant Clams in the world, of which 7 are found in Malaysian waters. Lucky for us you may think, but not for long unless we join in on the effort to save them. Two species are now categorized as locally extinct, that’s right, kaput! vamoosh! lenyap!
They are disappearing so fast that they are listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) endangered list and also as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Animals. Mostly, because we need Giant Clams as they are really important to our marine ecology.
Without Giant Clams to filter sea water, our sea will get murky fast and toxins will stifle our marine life, finally ending up in our bodies when we eat our favorite tuna sandwich or ikan bakar.
What You Can Do To Help
If you care about environmental issues you should go through the MERC booklet to learn more about the whys and hows, but if you’re too lazy and still want to be a decent human being, here’s what you need to do immediately. (You can download the PDF here.)
- Stop eating Giant Clam adductor muscles and meat
- Stop buying Giant Clam souvenirs
- Do not throw rubbish into the sea
- Support Giant Clams by helping us spread the news about their plight and positive actions we can do together
KKMOI would like to add to this list.
- Restaurants – don’t serve Giant Clam adductor muscles and meat
- State Government – Start an education programme among low income and refugee settlements on the importance of not throwing garbage into the sea
- Snorkelers and Divers – No shoving objects and touching the inside of these delicate creatures. They can die from shock.
- You – Make sure you tell your friends and family why Giant Clams should be treated with respected – they help keep the sea clean!
We hope you can make it to the event, but even if you can’t make it, we hope you’ve been informed.
For information on how to buy tickets, please refer to our previous post.