Malaysia – Sipadan shows positive impact on marine resources after 18 months of closure
By Olivia Miwil New Straits Times November 5, 2021
SEMPORNA, Sabah: The 18-month closure of Sipadan island has brought a positive impact on marine resources at the world renowned dive site.
Sabah Parks Board of Trustee chairman Datuk Askalani Abdul Rahim said due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all Sabah Parks including Sipadan were closed since March 18 last year.
“The closure of Sipadan island had affected the economy of tour operators including Sabah Parks.
“However, the silver lining of the closure which took place about one year and six months and reopening on Sept 16, 2021 gave a positive impact on Sipadan marine resources including growth of corals and the presence of rarely found fish species.
“Such positive development will definitely thrill divers around the world to return to Sipadan island,” he said during the launching of 12th year commemoration of Sipadan gazettement.
Sipadan island has more than 3,000 fish species at Barracuda Point, Drop-Off and Turtle Cave.
Based on the uniqueness of Sipadan Island, in 2000, it was listed among the 77 most magical and best landforms on the surface of the world by the New 7 Wonders of Nature Votes Committee.
For the past 12 years, Askalani said Sabah Parks had achieved several milestones which include an increase of revenues that exceeded the management operations cost at the island in 2018 and 2019.
Sabah Parks has also become the first to set up a dive marshall team in the country to ensure divers abide by the rules and regulations, as well as monitoring coral growth progress.
Sabah Parks has also created an online booking and payment system for diving at the island.
SOURCE – New Straits Times, Malaysia November 5, 2021