Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Reef damage Sipadan stylee


  • Please log in to reply
47 replies to this topic

#1 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8375 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 12 May 2006 - 04:51 AM

I saw a type of reef damage today I hadn't seen before.
I was shooting at Barracuda Point on Sipadan - and I noticed a dive guide (from another resort) gather his group around him and then pluck a sponge off the reef and use it to clean his mask. The action in itself wasn't that bad, but you know how impressional people are (nearly everyone here buys a pointer from the diveschool because the guides use them!). What an example to set!

If I had been closer I would have taken a photo.

Anyone else seen similar deliberate actions?

Alex

I am moving on to my third resort tomorrow. It is very interesting staying at several resorts in the same area. You realy get to see the differences in how they run the diving. I'll probably comment further on that when I am home

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#2 3@5

3@5

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 385 posts
  • Location:south of france

Posted 12 May 2006 - 05:07 AM

yes i have seen a number of dive guides who worked in the red sea do the same thing, i don't know if it originated there or elswhere but i did find it strange, especially when they show they students the trick :D
/paul
Paul Papadopoulos
canon 1dmkII + seacam silver + inon z220
My Webpage

#3 craig nelson

craig nelson

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 265 posts
  • Location:Midlands UK

Posted 12 May 2006 - 11:28 PM

Hi Alex

I'll try and capture an image for UK publications whilst i'm out there.!

When i was out in the Maldives in December. a certain dive guide actively promoted sitting and clinging onto the reef whilst awaiting Grey Reef sharks to swim by. !!! :D " i was not impressed" I just used my reef hook and stayed well away from the reef itself... so simple

Having worked out in the Red Sea on numerous occassions i was totally disgusted with this behaviour. EL NENO eh! killing the reef !... I think not.. more like d*&k heads.

No one i know that works for long standing centre's in egypt would do such a thing. I've known guides get into fights with people underwater over disregard for aquatic wildlife. my good friend got punched in the face with a camera !!!! :lol: . is a picture really worth that much too some people.

I hope not to see this example Alex, but in some way i hope to do so, as i'll try my best to faithfully record the moment.

Aquatic wildlife itself is so interesting, why must people make a party trick of it..

If people look so bored underwater whilst diving that they have to be entertained by a clown, then maybe they should OPEN THEIR EYES whilst diving and look at the reef and it inhabitants. or de-fog their mask's !!

I'll take a few zip ties with me and zip tie his hands to his feet if i see him do such things..... fun to be had

Nuff said


Enjoy the rest of your trip Alex

craig
Nikon D200 - Sea & Sea DX-200 - Inon Z-240's
10-17mm 12-24mm 60mm 105mm

#4 ralphy

ralphy

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 245 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Devon, UK
  • Interests:riding my motorbike(s)

Posted 15 May 2006 - 09:15 AM

Divers damaging the reefs/interfering with marine life REALLY angers me!

As a photographer, I'm only too aware that I have accidently touched coral on more than one occasion, despite trying very hard not to do so. So seeing it done deliberately gets my goat; how can anyone who is diving not realise the harm they are doing?

And as for the snorkelers off the hotels in Sharm/Hurghada............... I've lost count of the times I've indicated their actions as being wrong, usually met with a 'surprised' expression.

Grrrrrr.

#5 Lndr

Lndr

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 697 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Jervis Bay, Australia

Posted 15 May 2006 - 02:26 PM

Its crazy, stupid and sad!

Why would people destruct the very thing that makes the place so special :D

Should pluck bits of that guide dive and feed to the fishes !!

#6 kriptap

kriptap

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 535 posts
  • Location:Grand Cayman::Cayman Islands

Posted 15 May 2006 - 02:57 PM

As a Dive Master here in Cayman I have to say that I know no other DM who would such a thing, sure I agree some have and some will but if I saw them or they told me they did then I'd be having a few words with them, don't get me wrong I'm no tree hugger but deliberate damage for no reason other than showing off to this dives is pathetic. Even where damage is evident, if we take greater care and leave the reef alone if comes back and quicker than you might think.

#7 Leslie

Leslie

    Worm Girl

  • Critter Expert
  • 1816 posts
  • Location:Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
  • Interests:marine inverts (especially polychaetes), micro- and macrophotography

Posted 15 May 2006 - 03:33 PM

I'm sure there will be a lot of messages concerning the stupidity of such an act regarding the reef and rightfully so. What I'm wondering about is damage to the divers. Most sponges have internal support spines and various chemical defense systems that can be extremely nasty. I remember hearing about a student that was nearly killed by breathing fumes from a sponge's extracted chemicals. What happens if a diver follows the PM's example but picks up the one of the nastier sponges?

#8 kriptap

kriptap

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 535 posts
  • Location:Grand Cayman::Cayman Islands

Posted 15 May 2006 - 04:03 PM

Leslie your right there, I once saw a diver touch the "touch me not sponge" "Neofibularia nolitangere" and that's one nasty sponge.

#9 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8375 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 15 May 2006 - 06:56 PM

Sad as it was to see will reef damage - it is of course very minor in comparison to major damage issues like building or a ship grounding...

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#10 WaterWorks

WaterWorks

    Sting Ray

  • Industry
  • PipPipPip
  • 210 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bangkok, Thailand

Posted 15 May 2006 - 08:05 PM

Dr. Mustard,

When will these deliberate acts of damage, that SOME actual divers and dive resorts do, themsleves, come to an end?

Maybe we should open a new domain....

Scubareports.com which can have links with every dive business globally..... where we can name and shame the culprits and therefore encourage the public to not use their services....

It is the only language that these cowboys speak - greenback $$$$$$$$$$ ......

I'm WELL up for naming and shaming........

In my days as a DM before, we would regularly get (from a certain Dive School Conveyor Belt in the Gulf of Thailand) OW or AOW divers coming fun diving with us in the Andaman.....

The VAST majority who had rolled off this conveyor belt in the Gulf would show absolutely minimal signs of having been taught anything during their courses and I would end up - through my own levels of pride, self-respect, respect for the dangers involved and out of regard for the environment - teaching these poor victims how to dive all over again.......

Oh boy - did PADI get a surprise when they received my email at the end of that season? I reported around 30 different instructors (who stupidly forget that their name and reputation was stamped onto the first few pages of each of their victim's logbook) directly to PADI who replied that each and every one of them would be going up for QA.......

Did it help though? Not a sausage....... The conveyor belt is still running and the cowboys are still wooping and yeeha-ing their way around the island...

Take away their profit by encouraging the public to not use their services..... and watch them beg you for forgiveness.....

Chris

PS: Yes I am VERY self-righteous...........

#11 Poliwog

Poliwog

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 353 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada
  • Interests:Diving, Travel, 6 metre Bombard Explorer RIB, Triumph Spitfire 1500, Amateur Radio(VE3WRP)

Posted 16 May 2006 - 06:14 AM

... it is of course very minor in comparison to major damage issues like building or a ship grounding...




While in Roatan, I witnessed a large (70-100 ft) fishing trawler miss the channel entrance to the small harbour where we were located.

It took about an hour and half to get the boat off the reef. The skipper was using the engine to try and push or pull the boat off the reef. One can imagine the damage to the reef not only from the initial grounding but from the prop wash as well.

With only tree branches sticking out of the water to mark the harbour entrance, this was the first time I realized how important aids to navigation in the form of well marked, and placed buoys and channel markers are to the health of a reef. This grounding occurred at dusk and lasted well into the evening.

When I remarked to one of the locals, “Well, I guess he’ll never to that again!” the local replied “He usually does it about every two to three weeks.”

Sometimes the attitudes of the local inhabitants can be worse the the divers.
Paul Walker.
Nikon D2x, D7000, Aquatica D2x, AD7000, SunStrobe 200 x2, Inon Z240 x2, TLC Arms

#12 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8375 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 16 May 2006 - 06:18 AM

I was actually referring to this. But I couldn't be more specific until we had been given the political all clear.

http://www.finsonlin...s/?p=39#more-39

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#13 Leslie

Leslie

    Worm Girl

  • Critter Expert
  • 1816 posts
  • Location:Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
  • Interests:marine inverts (especially polychaetes), micro- and macrophotography

Posted 16 May 2006 - 06:45 AM

That's appalling.....

#14 WaterWorks

WaterWorks

    Sting Ray

  • Industry
  • PipPipPip
  • 210 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bangkok, Thailand

Posted 16 May 2006 - 06:54 AM

No comment. I think that if I did, then I would be banned from this forum............

Anyone been held responsible for it?

At least we are all safe in the knowldge that in 20 - 30 years when London, Amsterdam, Sydney New York etc are all underwater, we will have some very lucrative work doing years of salvage diving in Trafalgar Square, Buck Palace, Time Square etc...... :lol:

(that was, kind-of, an ironic joke............)

#15 3@5

3@5

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 385 posts
  • Location:south of france

Posted 16 May 2006 - 07:56 AM

being a natural born cynic, when i read all that was on the barge, my first reaction is: well i guess it was kind of predictable that sipadan was not really being protected, but that someone(s) just used the government's might to ensure no competition existed when they built their own lonely resort on sipadan. and probably creamed off the entrance fee money as well

i don't know if it was just bad mouthing, but just before the closure of sipadan there was a lot of talk and belief amonst diverst and resorts, that in fact a "bumi putra" was just trying to get rid of competition to open his resort there. :lol:
maybe there was some truth to that story after all

rant off...

in the mean time, there goes another iconic site of scuba diving and nature at her best... :lol::(;)
Paul Papadopoulos
canon 1dmkII + seacam silver + inon z220
My Webpage

#16 xtremediver

xtremediver

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 88 posts
  • Location:Detroit,MI.
  • Interests:Scuba diving, photography, scuba diving, photography, <br />oh yeah scuba diving and photography. Old cars, too.

Posted 16 May 2006 - 11:45 AM

I just finished reading the FINS article and I am stunned....this is horrific and criminal to say the least. I was there 2 years ago and scheduled to go back in October for the uw photo week and now I read this. What a major let down for all of hummanity and the diving population of the world. I have never been tolerant of touching the reef, but this parking of a barge at the drop off site is just unbelievably STUPID!!!! This was perhaps one of the top 5 sites in the world and is now ruined for multiple generations to come , not to mention the devastation to the population of the reef inhabinates. When will ego and money quit playing into the ecological make up of our planet? What can we do? Any ideas out there? Who can we voice our disgust and distain to that will have any influence? Maybe a collective email petition or statement or something? ;) :lol: ;) :lol: :(
"IF YOU'RE NOT LIVING ON THE EDGE THEN YOU'RE TAKING UP TOO MUCH SPACE" Canon 20D, Ikelite housing w/ dual DS-125's and a bunch of great glass to go with it. Canon Eos 1V and a Hasselblad with all of the goodies for real pictures.

#17 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10630 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 16 May 2006 - 05:54 PM

Ohhhh environmental activism... my alley!

For those who want to protest there are a few places to send your comments to. Please make sure you are cordial and voice your protest without being over the board. Refer to the barge specifically.
Contact info :

Y.B Datuk Hj. Karim bin Hj. Bujang
Assistant Minister
Ministry Tourism, Culture and Environment of Sabah
+6088212075 or 219311 (fax)

Y.B. DATUK SERI TENGKU ADNAN TENGKU MANSOR
Minister of Tourism
email :menteri@motour.gov.my
+60326930881 (fax)

YM Tengku Datuk Zainal Adlin
Chairman, Sabah Tourism Board
email: adlin@sabahtourism.com
fax same as Bujang

A few points you may wish to bring up:

1. Security concerns already make you consider not going to Sabah(ok not true but drama does get their attention) esp for countries with travel advisories.
2. Sipadan/Mabul is a treasure trove of marine tourism where you intend to return to over the years but have seen the detrimental effects of over development and lack of enforcement of protection of the area, esp in terms of resort violations.
3. CC to scubadiving, padi sportdiver, finsonline, channel news asia, CNBC asia.

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#18 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8375 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 16 May 2006 - 10:59 PM

My hope is that this accident (and negative publicity) will stop any plans (that may or may not exist) for further development on the island.

I agree that there needs to be some military (as possibly Sabah park) presence there (to stop dynamite fishing). And diving must continue - as the diving dollar is the best reason for conservation in that part of the world.

What makes Sipadan unique is it is so tiny - this is not like damaging a reef in the Red Sea or the Great Barrier Reef. On such a small island anthropogenic enviromental impacts are felt particularly strongly by the wildlife.

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#19 Rocha

Rocha

    Salty Dog

  • Senior Moderator
  • 3073 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA

Posted 17 May 2006 - 11:11 AM

Unfortunately a few more examples from around the world:

http://www.sfgate.co...30/MN232485.DTL

http://news.bbc.co.u...h/nth_coast.stm

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8472039/

And here is something I had never seen before:

http://www.divegalle...om/dynamite.htm

Luiz Rocha - www.luizrocha.com
Nikon D800, Aquatica AD800, Ikelite strobes.


#20 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10630 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 17 May 2006 - 02:25 PM

Luiz
Dynamite/blast fishing is whole other tread. That method was taught to the locals by the europeans in the 16-17th century empire expansion. The dutch and portuguese were especially fond of doing it.

The Sipadan debacle is different. A barge with gravel parked on the pier for what reason? To fill the island's toilets? Ever heard of forest growth? Fishermen not knowing better is one thing. An intentional abuse of the system by having gravel and bulldozer is totally different and more heinous, even if it was probably an accident by errant workers.
As a Wiseman reminded me, why was it moored there anyways? What were the materials and vehicle going to be used for? If day trip boats have limited access to the island for fear of damage, what is a couple of tons of gravel and a bulldozer doing at the island? These are the questions that need to be asked and answered.
I do encourage everyone to write to the Malaysia ministers and tourism boards to voice your dismay. Sipadan was beautiful in 90 when I first dived there. Development became uncontrolled by the mid 90s and destructive by 2000. 2004 saw the government trying to remove the resorts from the island. 2005 was the last year. The idea was to keep it clear of development.

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.