Evaluating Brunei’s Exceptionally Rich Marine Ecosystem and Coral Reef Networks
Currently there are only about 1000 species of coral reefs in existence all around the world. While in some areas, such as Hawaii, the Caribbean or the Galapagos Islands, the number of coral reef species can range between a few dozen to a couple of hundred, the small country neighboring Malaysia known as Brunei is home to no less than 600 species.
One of the most special details regarding Brunei’s impressive coral and marine life diversity is that, out of the 41,000 square kilometers that make up its waters, only about 50 square kilometers are areas rich in corals. The unusually rich and distinctive co-occurrence in shallow waters of hard and soft corals, as well as gorgonian sea fans and many rare species, such as flaviids, poritids, acroporids and euphylids it quite uncommon, not only because they are found in such a small region of water, but also because they usually thrive at more than 25 meters underwater.
The corals in Brunei are normally found in shallow waters, and surrounded by a majestic variety of marine fauna and beautifully rich varieties of fish. Even endangered marine life can be found here, divers and scientific researchers alike flocking to the region to study and observe its beautiful and pristine underwater environment.
Despite the remarkable diversity of corals that are still largely unaffected by outside negative influences, the practice of fishing in the area has been increasing in recent years, and due to the fact that people have little understanding of the importance of coral reefs, scientists have warned of the negative effects that overfishing is already having in the region.