Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Positive change in Sipadan

SEMPORNA: The 2010 Sipadan Island Marine Park Scientific Expedition discovered a positive change around the island that will help preserve the island as one of the best scuba diving destinations of the world.

The main focus of the expedition, from 26 to 30 April, is to check on the changes in the surroundings after the government barred resort operators there from continuing with their activities five years ago and restricted the number of daily visitors to 120 ever since.

The move to curtail human activities there came about after the Sipadan Island was gazetted in October 2009 under the Parks Enactment 1984 and the island is now under the care of a statutory body known as Sabah Parks.

The expedition organised by Sabah Parks brought together 49 researchers from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Fisheries Department, the Mineral and Geosciences Department, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and from Sabah Parks as well.

Sipadan Island is located in Sulawesi Sea outside the Sunda Shelf which means it is an island of its own that was created by volcanic activities. Sipadan Island covers an area of 16.4 hectares while its reefs cover 208 hectares – 1.4 long and 1 kilometer wide.

Positive impact

The head of the expedition committee, Nasrulhakim Maidin from Sabah Parks noted that the initial studies indicated positive impact on the marine flora and fauna – turtles, fishes, reefs and sea weeds.

The positive impact is also visible in the quality of freshwater from underground and sea water around the island.

“The government’s move to evict the resorts from the island and restrict the number of tourists seems to being paying off,” he said.

“The marine and terrestrial life and the environment in Sipadan Island is now in good condition, thanks to the decision taken by the government” he said.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Positive change in Sipadan

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