KOTA KINABALU: Sipadan conjures up an image of a serene, protected underwater world -- one of the world's top dive spots.
But just a half-hour boat ride away off Pulau Mabul, the blood of magnificent sharks, crudely finned and gutted by the boatload stains the sea red.
Shark finning has been going on here for several years, and the stark contrast between Sipadan and Mabul has caused an uproar in the international diving community, with some threatening to boycott Sabah entirely.
Finning is the inhumane practice of hacking off the shark's fins and throwing its still living body back into the sea.
A diver said: "Why should we contribute to the decline of a beautiful area by supporting a place which does not protect its own resources?
"We strongly urge the resorts to lobby Sabah Parks to prohibit shark finning in the Ligitan island group area.
"If the area is not protected, we will choose to dive in other areas of Southeast Asia where the marine life is protected with the money collected," the diver said.
Continue reading at: Divers threaten to boycott Sabah over shark finning