Nine scuba diving sites in Malaysia have been reopened after they showed positive signs of coral regeneration, the country's marine park authorities have announced. Access to the nine sites at Pulau Perhentian, Pulau Redang, Pulau Tenggol, Pahang and Kedah had been restricted since last July following incidents of coral bleaching due to rising sea temperatures. According to a report by Bernama, the Malaysian National News Agency, the sites had been closed to divers so that coral regeneration could proceed undisturbed. The report said that the sites have been re-opened after authorities found that natural coral conditions had returned to a healthier state. Dr Sukarno Wagiman, director-general of the Malaysian Marine Parks department, told Bernama: "According to the department's monitoring efforts, we find the condition of the seawater has improved, resulting in 90% to 100% regeneration of the coral reefs. "It is not clear whether this means that the corals have recovered nearly completely, or that nearly all of them have shown signs of recovery. If near-complete recovery has occurred, bleaching will have been in its earlier stages, as nine months is not long in terms of coral regeneration."