Reef Check Malaysia

Reef Check Malaysia

Founded in 1996, Reef Check is the world's largest international coral reef monitoring programme involving volunteer recreational divers and marine scientists.

Reef Check Malaysia
Suite 5.19-5.22, Box 606,
Wisma Central, Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel: +603 2161 5948

Reef Check Malaysia: Saving Our Reefs!

Reef Check Malaysia (RCM) is a non-profit organization registered in Malaysia working to conserve coral reefs. RCM is part the worldwide Reef Check network, which has its HQ in the United States and is represented in 82 countries around the world.

RCM's core programmes complement one another to promote coral reef conservation and management in Malaysia and they include EcoDiver Training and Surveys, education and community programmes and reef rehabilitation. In addition to that, RCM also implements campaigns and programmes on subjects related to coral reef conservation such as supporting green suppliers, bleaching-response planning, understanding reef resilience and most importantly, anti-fish bombing!

Sabah as you all know is famous for its world renowned dive sites with spectacular coral reefs, rich with colourful and odd-looking marine organisms. Home to a quarter of all ocean dwelling fish, coral reefs also feed, protect and inspire hundreds of millions of people around the world. Sadly to this day, our precious coral reefs are constantly being destroyed due to fish bombing. Fish bombing is considered to be as one of the worst destructive fishing methods ever to be practised in Sabah. Although recognised and emphasized as an illegal activity, fish bombers relentlessly target shallow coastal waters, which invariably destroys the coral reef below the blast area.

Fish bombing is still widely used all around Sabah. It is a form of destructive fishing using home-made bombs which consist of simple artificial chemicals derived from fertilisers mixed with kerosene in a bottle. Cheap, quick and easy, the fish bomber lights the fuse and throws the bottle into the water. When the charge explodes, it causes shock waves which kill or stun fish. The fish then either float to the surface or sink to the bottom which enables the fish bombers to easily collect them. It is estimated that a single fish bomb blast creates a crater of around 5m in diameter. As fish bombers usually deploy more than one bomb in a single location, imagine the size of the impact after the reef has been bombed multiple times, in one day! Coral reefs, delicate and fragile creatures they are, take years to grow, but only seconds to be destroyed.

Thus, in an attempt to quantify the scale of the problem, RCM started to gather data on fish bombing in Sabah in July 2011 and has received a total of 134 reports to date from divers. However, bear in mind that those 134 reports are only the tip of the iceberg as there are only a few reporters who contribute to the reporting system, and surely there are many more incidences that go unreported. RCM's reporting system is one of the many efforts that are being applied to stop this destructive method of fishing. Government agencies and NGOs are walking hand-in-hand to protect our coral reefs by combating fish bombing activity. Imagine our beautiful coral reefs being bombed more than a hundred times in a single year! We must all help to stop fish bombing.

Learn more at their website :

What We Do

  • EcoAction Training and Surveys
  • Education
  • Community-based
  • Reef Rehabilitation


  • Fish bombing
  • Bleaching response planning
  • Reef resilience
  • Green suppliers

Healthy Reef

Dead Reef