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KUALA LUMPUR: Reef Check Malaysia (RCM) is collaborating with Garmin Malaysia to combat marine pollution through the collection of fishing nets that have been lost or abandoned at sea.

Its CEO Julian Hyde said RCM is an organisation that is committed to healthy oceans by sustainably managing marine ecosystems in Malaysia.

“This initiative to collect lost or abandoned fishing nets, also known as ‘ghost nets’, is aimed at combating marine pollution.

“The nets pose a significant threat to Malaysia’s marine life, entangling marine animals and damaging coral reefs. Hence, we are committed to removing such ocean pollutants to preserve Malaysia’s pristine waters.”

Hyde said RCM will lead the ghost net removal operations by leveraging its expertise and network of locally trained islanders to safely remove the nets from underwater habitats around islands in Johor.

He said through the partnership with Garmin Malaysia, RCM aims to raise awareness about the impact of marine pollution and inspire action towards a cleaner and healthier ocean.

Garmin Malaysia marketing lead Sheena Sim said her company is committed to healthy oceans by sustainably managing the country’s marine ecosystems.

“Under this initiative, we pledge to contribute RM100 for every 1kg of ghost nets removed from Malaysian waters and have set a target to contribute RM10,000 to RCM through the initiative, which will run until September.”

Sim said the collaboration highlights the commitment of both organisations to environmental conservation and the preservation of marine ecosystems.

“Our dedication to marine conservation also aligns closely with one of the key industries Garmin caters to – the marine market.”

Alongside the pledge, Sim said Garmin had recently introduced its Garmin Descent G1 Solar – Ocean Edition wearable, which is dive-focused and created from recycled ocean-bound plastic.

“The wearable allows diving enthusiasts to live out their passion for the sport while expressing their love for the ocean through responsible consumption.”

On the campaign, Sim said Garmin is dedicated to using the ghost nets collected for upcycling artisanal products that can benefit users, such as waterproof multipurpose pouches.

“By collaborating with organisations such as RCM, we are committed to continue making a positive impact on the environment and communities in which we operate.”