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Published by , 2017-05-24 20:05:01

Vol2_Main Report_psukpp

Vol2_Main Report_psukpp

Proposed Reclamation & Dredging Works for the Penang South Reclamation (PSR)
Environmental Impact Assessment (2ndSchedule) Study

The high density was mostly contributed by unidentified bivalve spats that cover 82.6% of the
total Mollusca count. The mean density of bivalve spats was 29±30 (0-120) ind./m2. Bivalve
spat is the stage where they begin to lose the larval organs such as velum, foot or eyespot,
and form the adult structures. A new shell is also laid down by the mantle during this time
(FAO, 1990).

On the whole, the highest mean density of molluscs was recorded offshore area (outside of
the reclamation footprint) [63±35 (10-110) ind./m2], followed by within the reclamation
footprint [35±33 (0-120) ind./m2], foreshore area [33±38 (0-130) ind./m2] and off Pulau Kendi/
Pulau Rimau [24±24 (0-70) ind./m2] (F6.77). This finding coincided with the zooplankton
assessment, where the highest mean density of molluscs larvae was recorded at the
offshore area (outside of the reclamation footprint) [1.35±2.05 (0-3.71) ind./L], while the
lowest was recorded off Pulau Kendi/Pulau Rimau [0.09±0.12 (0-0.18) ind./L].

Area 1: Foreshore area (S1 – S20)
Area 2: Reclamation area (within reclamation

footprint) (S21 – S36)
Area 3: Offshore area (outside reclamation

footprint) (S37 – S42)
Area 4: Off Pulau Kendi and Pulau Rimau

(S43 – S45 and S46 – S49)

Mean density (ind./m2) of
Phylum Mollusca at the
study area

Arthropoda (Crustacea) was the third most abundant phylum, with mean density of 27±41 (0-
210) ind./m2. This phylum consisted of several orders, of which Amphipoda was the most
abundant, accounting for 42.9% of the total crustacean count. Amphipods act as an
important link between producers and higher consumers such as fish in the food webs.
Amphipods also have proven difficult to identify due to their small size and morphology.
However, they are usually used as bioindicator of pollution since they are sensitive to
environmental conditions (Zaabar et al., 2015). On the whole, the highest mean density of
arthropods recorded was off Pulau Kendi/Pulau Rimau [36±64 (0-180) ind./m2], followed by
the offshore area (outside the reclamation footprint) [32±25 (10-80) ind./m2], area within the
reclamation footprint [29±52 (0-210) ind./m2] and foreshore area (22±26 (0-110) ind./m2)

The high density in Pulau Kendi/Pulau Rimau could be related to the lower pollution loads off
the island. Foreshore areas receiving daily inputs from land-based pollutant flows is probably
the main reason for the low density of arthropods recorded during the current study. In
addition, a previous study by Thomas (1993) reported amphipods to be dominant
macrobenthic crustaceans inhabiting available substratum (microhabitat) in coral reef
ecosystems (Thomas, 1993). This coincides with the findings of the current study which
recorded amphipod as the most abundant group in Pulau Kendi/Pulau Rimau.


Volume 2: Main Report
Chapter 6 | Existing Environment

Area 1: Foreshore area (S1 – S20)
Area 2: Reclamation area (within

reclamation footprint) (S21
– S36)
Area 3: Offshore area (outside
reclamation footprint) (S37
– S42)
Area 4: Off Pulau Kendi and Pulau
Rimau (S43 – S45 and
S46 – S49)

Mean density (ind./m2) of
Phylum Anthropoda at
the study area

The least abundant phylum was Echinodermata, which consisted of two groups. Class
Ophiuroidea was found to be more dominant, covering 89.5% of the total density of
Echinoderms, while the remaining 10.5% was constituted by Class Holothuroidea.
Echinodermata was only recorded at the foreshore area and the area within the reclamation
footprint with mean density of 6±20 (0-90) ind./m2 and 5±18 (0-70) ind./m2 respectively.
Overall, the mean macrobenthos density at the study area was 107±112 (20-460) ind./m2.
The mean Shannon Weiner Diversity Index (H’) recorded at 1.12±0.69 (0-2.68), where most
of the stations showed a moderate diversity pattern (F6.79). The highest value was recorded
at S17 (foreshore area) (2.68), followed by S29 (within reclamation footprint) (2.64), S2
(foreshore area) (2.53) and S13 (foreshore area) (2.43).

Macrobenthos diversity
index (H’) at the study


Proposed Reclamation & Dredging Works for the Penang South Reclamation (PSR)
Environmental Impact Assessment (2ndSchedule) Study Coral Reefs

Coral reef assessment was carried out at Pulau Kendi and Pulau Rimau. The survey was
conducted from 12 to 15 April 2016. A total of eight dive sites were involved, with four sites
each at Pulau Kendi and Pulau Rimau. The diving duration at each site ranged from 45 to 60
minutes. The weather during the dive survey was sunny. Sea conditions were characterized
by moderate currents and high turbidity. Hence, poor visibility conditions prevailed. The
location and description of each dive site are provided in T6.41 and F6.80.

a) Methodology

Two different methods were carried out for the coral assessment, which are:

i) at Pulau Kendi - Line Intercept Transect (LIT) method with minor modification was
employed. Cells were arranged in parallel rows, stretching from the coastline to the
outermost seaward limit of the coral boundary.

ii) at Pulau Rimau - The survey method had to be modified because the LIT method was
not applicable. This was due to vertical distribution of coral reefs on slopes, rocks and
boulders of the island. Dive survey had to be undertaken along the perimeter of the

T6.41 Description of the dive sites for coral reef assessment Description

Transect Start End Date Time Weather Visibility



Pulau Kendi (LIT Method)

C1 05°14.175’N 05°14.197’N 0910 30 10.7 0.6
100°10.874’E 100°10.085’E 1048 20 4.5 1.8
1200 20 3.7 1.8
C2 05°14.130’N 05°14.127’N 1330 Sunny 60 3.0 3.0
100°10.899’E 100°10.911’E
12/4/16 0900
C3 05°13.847’N 05°13.842’N 1300
100°10.776’E 100°10.787’E 15/4/16 0900
13/4/16 0900
C4 05°13.730’N 05°13.723’N 14/4/16
100°10.772’E 100°10.805’E

Pulau Rimau (Perimeter Transect)

C5 05°14.618’N 05°14.746’N 400 4.0 2.7
100°16.549’E 100°16.419’E 2.7
C6 05°14.755’N 05°14.916’N Sunny 900 4.1 0.6
100°16.378’E 100°16.951’E 4.0
1,00 2.6
C7 05°14.928’N 05°15.035’N 0
100°16.126’E 100°16.597’E
C8 05°15.025’N 05°14.671’N
100°16.608’E 100°16.590’E


Volume 2: Main Report
Chapter 6 | Existing Environment

F6.80 Locations of the dive sites at the study area

The general procedure employed at each site was as follows:
i) Line Intercept Transect (LIT) - The positions of each line were established and

respective positions were plotted by GPS. Once these positions were established, a
team of divers laid transect lines (C1 to C4) from the coastline to the coral edge
(further offshore), approximately 20 to 60 m long (depending on the coral area) using a
measuring tape (F6.81). Then, the divers left the survey area for 10 minutes to allow
normal fish activity to resume. The divers then returned and recorded species of coral/
fish/other organisms on the polyester data sheet along the transect line and 5 m wide x
5 m high corridor.
ii) Perimeter Transect - The position of each point was plotted using GPS. A team of
divers dived vertically along the four (C5 to C8) perimeter transects covering a distance
of 400 to 1,000 m for each transect along the coastline. Along the perimeter transect,
divers recorded species of coral/fish/other organisms on the polyester data sheet.
iii) The coral species were identified up to genera/species level where possible in the field
or after the dive were completed using field guidebooks. Among the references that
provided background material for the identification of species, but not limited to, were
Kelley (2009), Veron (2000), Janes and Lee (2007), Fabricius and Alderslade (2001),
Allen and Steen (1999), van Ofwegen et al. (2000), Tullock (1997), Delbeek and
Sprung (1994), Chou (1988), van Ofwegen (1987), Millis (1985) and Searle (1980).
iv) The data collected includes approximate locations, speciation (including reef fish and
invertebrates), distribution, percentage coverage and health of coral reef.
v) Photographs and short videos were also taken.


Proposed Reclamation & Dredging Works for the Penang South Reclamation (PSR)
Environmental Impact Assessment (2ndSchedule) Study

Coral reef survey undertaken at
the study area

b) Results
Coral Species Identification

Coral reefs are among the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on earth. They provide
economic and environmental services worth about $375 billion each year to millions of
people as shoreline protection, areas of natural beauty, recreation and tourism, sources of
food, pharmaceuticals as well as revenues (Wilson et al., 2005; Costanza et al., 1997). In
addition, they form nurseries and breeding grounds for an estimated 25% of all marine
animals as well as home to one-third of all fish species found worldwide (Reef Check
Malaysia, 2008).
Within the study site, coral reefs are found in the vicinity of Pulau Rimau and Pulau Kendi,
and surveyed as part of this investigation. The coral reef surveys at Pulau Kendi (C1 to C4)
and Pulau Rimau (C5 to C8) were undertaken in April 2016, the outcomes of which appear
i) Pulau Kendi
Pulau Kendi is an island with natural rock formations. The hills on the island are very steep
and densely forested (F6.83). There is only one stretch of sandy beach (C3), though it is very
small. Based on the diving survey, the bottom sediment type was generally of muddy sand


Volume 2: Main Report
Chapter 6 | Existing Environment



C4 C3


F6.82 Overview of the dive sites at Pulau Kendi

Pulau Kendi had a higher number of hard corals, possibly due to the better water quality,
being offshore of Pulau Rimau. 13 genera of hard corals (8 families) were recorded (T6.42);
with some genera such as Star Coral (Favites sp.), Sun Coral (Turbinaria sp.), Anemone
Coral (Goniopora sp.) as well as Boulder Coral (Porites sp.) in higher abundance as
compared to other genera (F6.83). Five genera of gorgonians from four families were
recorded in Pulau Kendi, with the Sea Fan (Echinogorgia sp.) being the most widespread
taxa recorded (F6.84). Only two genera of soft corals were recorded in Pulau Kendi i.e.
Leather coral (Sinularia sp.) and Magnificent Sea Anemone (Heteractis magnifica).

T6.42 Coral species recorded at Pulau Kendi

Type Family Species Common Name C1 Station C4
+ C2 C3
Gorgonians Ellisellidae Subergorgia sp. Sea Fan + +
Gorgoniidae Guaiagorgia sp. Sea Fan + +
Melithaeidae Melithaea sp. Sea Fan +
Echinogorgia sp. Sea Fan + ++
Plexauridae Menella sp. Sea Fan +
Sinularia sp. Leather Coral +
Soft Coral Alycyoniidae Heteractis Magnificent Sea
Stichodactylidae magnifica Anemone +

Note: ‘+’ – present


Proposed Reclamation & Dredging Works for the Penang South Reclamation (PSR)
Environmental Impact Assessment (2ndSchedule) Study

T6.42 Coral species recorded at Pulau Kendi (cont’d)

Type Family Species Common Name C1 Station C4
C2 C3
Agariciidae Pachyseris speciosa Elephant Skin Coral + +
Antipathidae Cirrhipathes sp. Wire Coral + + +
Caryophylliidae Caryophyllia sp. Cup Coral ++ +
Tubastrea sp. Sun Coral + ++ +
Dendrophyllidae Turbinaria sp. Table Coral + ++ +
Diploastrea heliopora Moon Coral ++
Hard Faviidae Favia sp. Moon Coral + ++ +
Coral Favites sp. Star Coral + ++ +
Monstastrea sp. Pineapple Coral ++
Merulinidae Goniastrea sp. Lesser Star Coral +
Mussidae Symphyllia sp. Brain Coral + +
Poritidae Goniopora sp. Anemone Coral +
Porites sp. Boulder Coral +
Note: ‘+’ – present ++



Note: The pictures were taken

G H from an average focus distance
of 10 cm

F6.83 Scleractinian coral found at Pulau Kendi. A: Table Coral (Turbinaria sp.), B: Lesser Star Coral
(Goniastrea sp.), C: Anemone Coral (Goniopora sp.), D: Moon Coral (Favia sp.), E: Boulder Coral
(Porites sp.), F: Star Coral (Favites sp.), G: Sun Coral (Tubastrea sp.), H: Pineapple Coral
(Montastrea sp.)


Volume 2: Main Report
Chapter 6 | Existing Environment


Note: The pictures were taken

D E from an average focus distance
of 10 cm

F6.84 Gorgonians recorded at Pulau Kendi. A: Sea Fan (Guaiagorgia sp.), B: Sea Fan (Echinogorgia sp.),
C: Sea Fan (Subergorgia sp.), D: Sea Fan (Melithaea sp.), E: Magnificent Sea Anemone (Heteractis

In terms of dive sites, the highest count of hard corals was recorded at C3, with all 13 taxa
recorded. C2 was recorded with nine taxa, while both C1 and C4 were recorded with eight
genera. The gorgonians, on the other hand, were mostly recorded at C1 and C2, while C3
was only recorded with one genus i.e. Sea Fan (Echinogorgia sp.). There were no
gorgonians recorded at C4 during the survey. The soft corals were also found only at C2.

Coral cover ranged from 0 to 60 m, with the highest coral cover being recorded at C4. It
should be noted that the corals in most of the stations were scattered along the transect line.
The least coral cover was recorded at C3, where the reef extended up to 10 m only. Strong
wave action was observed at C1, thus limiting the dominance of the area to gorgonians. On
the other hand, other stations recorded dominance of scleractinian corals, especially at C4
and C2.

According to Chou et al. (1994), the range of the coral health status can be divided into four
(4) categories based on percentage of live coral cover as below:

a) Excellent: > 75%

b) Good: 50 – 75%

c) Fair: 25 – 50 %

d) Poor: > 25%

During the survey, the live coral cover in Pulau Kendi was <30% of the total coral area,
indicating “fair” coral health. Corals are highly depended on light and clear water to gain
energy. The health status of the corals in Pulau Kendi was most likely influenced by the high
siltation that blocked direct sunlight. Chronic siltation on corals can directly affect them
through reduction of photosynthesis and growth (Telesnicki and Goldberg, 1995). During the
current survey, high levels of siltation were observed at all stations (F6.85A). Studies showed
that decreases in the clarity of the water column caused by high sedimentation are one of the
most important factors limiting reef development (Rogers, 1990). In addition, Dodge et al.
(1974) had reported that coral growth is closely associated to the resuspension of bottom
sediments. Coral growth rates decreased from 1 to 0.6 cm/year when resuspension
increased from 0.005 to 0.011 kg/m2/day.


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