SEMPORNA: Marine life and ecosystems at Sabah’s famed Sipadan Island, including rare coral and fish species, are making a positive rebound after 18 months of closure since March 18 lest year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Sabah Parks Board of Trustee Chairman Datuk Askalani Abdul Rahim said marine resources at the world-renowned dive site are showing signs of recovery, which include the ret
Sabah Parks Board of Trustee Chairman Datuk Askalani Abdul Rahim said marine resources at the world-renowned dive site are showing signs of recovery, which include the return of many rare species. “While the closure of Sipadan Island has affected the income of many tour operators, including Sabah Parks, the silver lining is the period has brought a respite for many marine species.
“Such positive development will definitely make it an exciting experience for divers around the world to return to Sipadan,” he said during the launching of 12th year commemoration of Sipadan gazettement.
Considered the crown jewel inside of Sabah’s famed “Golden Triangle” bioregion, Sipadan is home to over 3,000 fish species at Barracuda Point, Drop-Off and Turtle Cave. Listed as among world’s top dive sites, Sipadan was also recognised as among the 77 most magical and best landforms on the surface of the world in 2000, by the New 7 Wonders of Nature Votes Committee.
In his speech, Asklani lauded Sabah Parks on their accomplishments for the past 12 years, including several milestones which resulted in the increase of revenue that surpassed the management operations cost for maintaining the island in 2018 and 2019. “Sabah Parks is also the first in the country to establish a dive marshal team to ensure divers comply with rules and protocol, which includes monitoring the growth and progress of numerous coral species found here,” he said. He further noted Sabah Parks has also developed an online booking and payment system for diving activities at the island.