Over the past tens of thousands of years, hundreds of living species have been lost through extinction due to climatic and environmental changes. Rising water temperature from global warming has caused coral bleaching, a phenomenon resulting in a decrease in critical nutrients needed for reefs to survive.

Direct human behavior is another major cause of marine life degradation. Indiscriminate dumping of rubbish often ends in the sea resulting in widespread pollution. Coastal development causes irrecoverable damage to coral reefs due to marine dredging and sea front reclamation, eutrophication from agricultural fertilizers, sewage outflows and also smothering from sediment runoff.

In Sabah, the key threats to our marine life include outbreaks of Crown-of-Thorns which eat live corals, and irresponsible human behavior such as carelessly tossed anchors, reckless diving causing damage to reefs, and the use of explosives and poisonous chemicals to fish. Such destructive fishing methods not only kill marine life but destroy the surrounding marine habitat that has taken many thousands of years to form.

What this means for our Giant Clams

Of the many species currently under threat, giant clams, once found throughout the worlds tropical oceans, are now facing extinction too. Without intervention, giant clams will soon become a species of the past only to be seen in museums and books. Giant clams were once easily found in Malohom Bay, but over-harvesting by local fishermen soon saw them disappear.