Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Planned ban of underwater cameras in Sipadan


  • Please log in to reply
56 replies to this topic

#41 loftus

loftus

    Blue Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4571 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Winter Park, Fl

Posted 23 April 2013 - 03:42 AM

On my trip to Sipadan a number of years ago one of my major takeaway impressions of the area was simply one thing - human overpopulation relative to the resources available and all the consequences thereof. I heard and saw the effects of dynamite fishing all over the area, saw trash disposal directly into the water both from the rig off Mabul and the boat villages(I have a picture of Mauricio Handler getting covered in stool from above), rows and rows of boat people showing up all the time with every possible type of reef fish for sale etc, etc. It's so easy for everyone to blame everyone else, big oil, corporations, etc, etc, but honestly every single person posting on this forum probably fits into the top 5% or less of largest consumers of planetary resources. There is no one who has come up with a viable alternative to fossil fuels for example that can provide similar efficiencies, and without destroying other resources like battery materials, to provide for growing populations all aspiring to be middle class at least, and wealthy at best.  It really only comes down to one thing on a planetary scale, too many people for too few resources - irrespective of who controls the resources it's still the rest of us who consume them. The planet simply cannot support so many people, particularly if every one of those people wants to live beyond a subsistence level. So the only solution is fewer people. And there are two ways to accomplish that - stop reproducing and suicide or killing people beyond a certain age ala Soylent Green, say 60. Population control by birth control alone creates distortions of age groups which is in itself unsustainable. So suicide or killing older people is just as important for serious population control and balance. I turn 60 next year and I'm not volunteering for suicide, and if anyone comes near my house to get me, I have a gun.


Edited by loftus, 23 April 2013 - 03:56 AM.

Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#42 MikeVeitch

MikeVeitch

    1.7kbps Manta Boy

  • Senior Moderator
  • 6192 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In Bali, Indonesia but from Vancouver, BC
  • Interests:Teaching Underwater Photography

Posted 23 April 2013 - 05:07 AM

 and if anyone comes near my house to get me, I have a gun.

Aha... now we understand :P


Join us for an Underwater Photography Workshop in Ambon March 2015
Blog and Photo Archive/Portfolio Site www.mikeveitchblog.com
Learn underwater photography in Indonesia or Join me on a trip www.underwatertribe.com


#43 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10647 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:03 AM

Oh Jeff, I misread your DOB info... I thought you were 60 last year when I arranged for that whale to fall on top of you... good thing the whale wasn't as illiterate like me! :)


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.


#44 DamonA

DamonA

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 173 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brisbane
  • Interests:Photography, Scuba, Skin Diving, "Animal Lover" and Woodworking, Licensed Professional Joiner & Carpenter.
    Don't like contact sport at all or elite level professional sport.

Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:16 AM

I have a picture of Mauricio Handler getting covered in stool from above

That could be worth good money to the right kind of people......



#45 loftus

loftus

    Blue Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4571 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Winter Park, Fl

Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:38 AM

Oh Jeff, I misread your DOB info... I thought you were 60 last year when I arranged for that whale to fall on top of you... good thing the whale wasn't as illiterate like me! :)

Let's try again next year!


Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#46 kc_moses

kc_moses

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 388 posts

Posted 23 April 2013 - 12:25 PM

First of all, I grew up in Kota Kinabalu and have family in Sabah, so I hear things about stuffs around the state. Semporna is a very gray area, you have the pirates, the illegal immigrants, the rich that exploit the local etc. The rich would pay under table money to get land in the area, set up dive resorts while do not run the dive operation to keep environmental issue in priority, hence as long as divers are coming, they don't care much what the divers do.

 

Seconds, there are still a lot of bomb fishing activities that the authorities can't get it under control. You know how the bomb fishing take place? A small boat would go to the area, check the surrounding to make sure no coast guard around, then drop water bottle filled with explosive, once the bottle hit bottom, it explode (sound like some one fart in the water by the way), blast the reef and the fish float to the surface. The guy in the small boat will call a bigger boat to come and pick up the dead fish with nets. These illegal bomb fishers could be the local, or people from the Philippines, because Sipadan is just that close to the countries coast line that the coast guard can't do anything once the pirate/illegal fish operator cross the country line to the other side.

 

Last, there are certain nationality of divers are quite hardcore underwater photographers. I'm not going to name the country, but once I got mix into a boat full of divers. 7 out of 10 people have dSLR, and they are a group of divers from that country. Now, if you ever been to some tourist area, you probably see a full bus of tourist get unloaded, almost everybody have a dSLR hanging around their neck. Those are the group of people I refer to. Just because they have hardcore underwater camera and housing, doesn't make them good underwater photographers, and these group of people tends to be those that could cause problem as they're loud and obnoxious, I have seen divemasters roll their eyes when deal with these nationality of people.

 

I hate to say this, if the ban become effective, they will not get my business even though I like to support my home state as much as possible.



#47 njcfm

njcfm

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 39 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bermuda

Posted 24 April 2013 - 03:07 AM

sipadan was our least favorite of the locations we visited in Indonesia and Malaysia . the Asian tourists have zero respect for animals/reefs/other guests.

 

Seeing a group of tourists grabbing and riding turtles and the dive masters doing nothing about it is pretty upsetting. Keep in mind this was in December of 2012. 


On the rock that is Bermuda, if anyone is visiting let me know

#48 kc_moses

kc_moses

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 388 posts

Posted 24 April 2013 - 08:48 AM

The first time I visit Sipadan, I was dissappointed too as I didn't even see a Barachuda tornado. But during my 2nd time there, I saw one and it's kind of cool. I will be going to Indonedia and Thailand next month so I will have a better comparison.

 

Yes, Asian culture could be a very selfish culture, it's mainly because of history of poverty and always try to fullfill basic necessities by compromising moral. In the other hand, I think Layang Layang is quite okay, I haven't been there but so far I read that the dive operator is very strict, especially in term of depth. Sipadan is just getting too saturated by dive operators, they just try to keep divers happy, whether is to offer lower price, or let them do what they want. I kind of experience the same thing in Key West.



#49 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10647 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:29 AM

Before this goes any further, I would like to respectfully ask everyone to respect other cultures/nationalities by refraining from making general broad assertions about any particular group or ethnicity.  Wetpixel is an international forum.  If you feel you are unable to write without using broad stereotypes , then perhaps it's better to reconsider what you are about to write.
I would also ask people to stay within the topic without taking tangents that stray too far away from the original topic of Sipadan's possible banning of underwater cameras. Thank you.

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.


#50 Sylar

Sylar

    Damselfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brisbane

Posted 24 April 2013 - 06:38 PM

I just returned from a trip to Mabul with two days diving at Sipidan.

There was no problem with me taking my camera to Sipidan.

The DMs really stressed about not touching the reef when taking photos and kept a close watch.


Canon 50D, Ikelite Housing, DS160 strobes, Canon 60mm, 100mm, 18-55mm, Tokina 10-17mm
My Flickr

#51 kc_moses

kc_moses

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 388 posts

Posted 25 April 2013 - 07:21 AM

Sylar, would you mine share which dive operator you used? I think one of the things we could help is only use responsible dive operators. I don't know which dive operator njcfm is referring to, but we all should do our part and only support responsible dive operators.



#52 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10647 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 25 April 2013 - 11:06 PM

Sylar brings up a great point.  It's up to the management and dive guides to enforce rules.  I can understand why they would want to avoid telling off clients, especially in this economic climate, but it's really about protecting their future.  The camera ban will not be effective if that's all they are going to do.


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.


#53 njcfm

njcfm

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 39 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bermuda

Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:21 AM

Sylar, would you mine share which dive operator you used? I think one of the things we could help is only use responsible dive operators. I don't know which dive operator njcfm is referring to, but we all should do our part and only support responsible dive operators.

 

 

Sorry, about the Asian tourists comment, however that is the only way I could describe the group, none of the the Scandinavian,  American, European, or Australian guests had any of the issues. SMART was also VERY strict on limiting dives to 40 minutes, no matter how much air you had left or how deep the dive was.

 

Basically I wouldn't suggest Sipadan Mabul Dive Resort

I'm sure other operators are more responsible and treat their guests better.


Edited by njcfm, 27 April 2013 - 02:33 AM.

On the rock that is Bermuda, if anyone is visiting let me know

#54 kc_moses

kc_moses

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 388 posts

Posted 27 April 2013 - 08:36 AM

njcfm, which resort did you stayed at? The first time I was in Sipadan, I stayed at Seaventure, the oil rig across from Mabul. The 2nd time, I stayed at the island of Mabul, and the dive operator is "Borneo Divers". There are now about 4 dives operators/resorts on the island of Mabul, I don't know the name of the two. The nice one has above water houses. The more info I have, the more I can tell my friends in Sabah as I have a few diver master friends around there that help organize/refer divers to Sipadan area.

 

So you witness turtle riding while you're with Sipadan Mabul Dive Resort?



#55 njcfm

njcfm

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 39 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bermuda

Posted 27 April 2013 - 03:18 PM

njcfm, which resort did you stayed at? The first time I was in Sipadan, I stayed at Seaventure, the oil rig across from Mabul. The 2nd time, I stayed at the island of Mabul, and the dive operator is "Borneo Divers". There are now about 4 dives operators/resorts on the island of Mabul, I don't know the name of the two. The nice one has above water houses. The more info I have, the more I can tell my friends in Sabah as I have a few diver master friends around there that help organize/refer divers to Sipadan area.

 

So you witness turtle riding while you're with Sipadan Mabul Dive Resort?

 

 

yes, it was a large group of tourists probably 20 people, they had a hired videographer with them on the dive and I believe it was even filmed.  I'll see if I have any pictures of it specifically, my wife and I were both appalled by the actions of the group, the lack of action by the dive master and overall the way the resort was run, since we weren't part of a large group we basically got poor service the entire time.  The dive masters we had were helpful and followed the rules (the 40min dive thing was really annoying and they wouldn't budge) however the large group basically got to do whatever they wanted.  We would request a site, it would get put up on the board and the large groups site would be changed to the same site we wanted to go to 30min later, which meant a crowded site.  We would even wait until their site was already up and ask for ours to be changed, no luck, it was like all boats from the resort had to go to the same sites.

 

basically SMART was a decent resort, clean room, helpful staff, ok food (catered towards an asian diet), the dive masters we had were very nice, the boat captains were friendly and helpful.. The rules of the resort were very restrictive and by far the most limiting of ANY resort we have ever been too.  When compared to the two other resorts we stayed with on our trip, smart came in last place, hands down. 

 

If we ever go back to Sipadan, we won't stay at SMART again.  

 

here is the only picture I could dig up (10-17 doesn't have much reach).. basically the large group near a large coral with turtles laying on it, as the turtles were swimming away from them members of the party grabbed onto the shells and rode them.

IMG_1714.jpg


On the rock that is Bermuda, if anyone is visiting let me know

#56 kc_moses

kc_moses

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 388 posts

Posted 28 April 2013 - 06:00 AM

Hmmm, I can't see the detail in the picture as it is too far and too much dust. I understand where you're coming from. The last time when I was in Sipadan, the resort did separate divers based on ethnicity as well as nationality. Even though I'm Americanized Asian, they separate from the westerners and put me together with the Japanese. The Japanese divers are fun and super friendly, and try very hard to communicate, made me feel sad I didn't know Japanese.
 
I will share your experience with my friends with FB. But at the mean time, if you ever consider go back to Sipadan, please use dive shops in the US. For example, my local dive shop at Kansas City organize dive trip to Sipadan almost on a yearly basis. They stay at Kapalai Water Village, and price around US$4000 including international flight. Not sure if you know, foreigners get charge more then the local back in Malaysia. Even I'm consider a local (still a Malaysian nationality), I couldn't get close to that price. I went to Egypt/Red Sea with the dive shop, it really take care a lot of the cultural/foreign destination frustration.


Also, the 40 minutes bottom time limit is ridiculous, I think the average around the area is 50 to 55 minutes, could change depend on weather condition, or if there is least experience divers in the group.
 
I was told one of the dive resorts on Mabul Island is own by a gangster/mafia boss (it was being build when I visit the area in 2010), so...... tourist could really get taken advantage sometimes. Perhaps there are some websites for dive operator review/research that could benefit divers?

#57 AMW

AMW

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 420 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles
  • Interests:Boxing, English Premier League, SCUBA, aqua-culturing SPS and LPS, yoga

Posted 28 April 2013 - 08:46 PM

I dove Sipaden in 2008-2009 and stayed on Mabul. When I was there, locals were FINNING SHARKS on the backside of Mabul!!!! 

Let's hope that the camera ban is not the only ban that is enforced!!