Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
saudio

Planned ban of underwater cameras in Sipadan

Recommended Posts

Maybe they should make a minimum certification level of rescue diver+peak performance buoyancy and +100 logged dives, now that would make sense.

 

Not everyone is PADI...

 

... other Wetpixies can speak to my own bouyancy control, but I've never done "peak performance bouyancy", just my BSAC and IANTD training.

 

There are times when I think that it took me 1000 dives, rather than 100, to get it right!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not everyone is PADI...

 

... other Wetpixies can speak to my own bouyancy control, but I've never done "peak performance bouyancy", just my BSAC and IANTD training.

 

There are times when I think that it took me 1000 dives, rather than 100, to get it right!

 

Funny enough, neither am I anymore, I'm now only CMAS and SSI, but since most people are PADI I thought this would be the best type of cert to suggest.

 

I also never did a peak performance buoyancy course, but I conducted loads of them, Perfect buoyancy they are called with SSI.

I think that for beginners (<100dives) the courses help tremendously.

 

From my personal experience its quite often the divers that never take their time to learn things right from the start (Basic course and then no training after that) that take a long time to get a grasp on things, i've seen plenty of divers with thousands of dives who dive a lot worse than most of my newly certified students, but thats an entirely different discussion.

 

Oh yes, and If its not that the divers didn't take their time to learn it right from the beginning, then its their instructor who didn't.

 

Now that you mention that you're BSAC, I believe you have an equivalent course available: http://www.bsac.com/page.asp?section=3602&sectionTitle=Buoyancy+and+Trim+Workshop

 

-Morten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im going to throw a spanner in the works here to consider that none of these courses deal with training a student to have good bouyancy whilst having to take certain types of photos uw let alone handling a rig from a compact to fully blown DSlR setup?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are two seperate things at work here. Lack of bouyancy control and mindset.

 

With lack of bouyancy control unfortunatly experience is not good yard stick for competancy. You can spend a life time doing something badly and still be bad. In this sense I have seen divers with 1000s of dives that have no bouyancy control and likewise divers with <50 with great control.

 

This is an indictment on training levels, agencys and instructors more than indivdual divers.

 

A far better yard stick is a pratical one. Can you maintain trim and bouyancy to +/-1m whilst taking a photo? If not you have no place near the substrate with a camera and should have to do mandatory additional trainning. This would put the pressure on trainning agency to implement more rigourous trainning standards.

 

The mindset thing is all together more difficult. Certain photographers feel that the goal of getting a good photo trumps everything and thus are happy to break coral, move subject, lie on fragile substrate. We have all seen this time and depressing time again. Again certain pros seem to be the worst with video showing them lying accross coral which in my mind is a disgrace. Whilst we all have an impact, not trying to mitigate those is unethical.

 

The most depressing part of this arguement is that good bouyancy control really is not that hard to learn. A couple of days with a good instructor and you ll come away with excellent bouyancy, trim and propulsion. Given the amount we spend on travel and gear, not to mention the benefits to safety and actually getting in position to get good shots, this really is a tiny investment.

 

Erol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ErolE, on 04 Apr 2013 - 15:09, said:

The most depressing part of this arguement is that good bouyancy control really is not that hard to learn. A couple of days with a good instructor and you ll come away with excellent bouyancy, trim and propulsion. Given the amount we spend on travel and gear, not to mention the benefits to safety and actually getting in position to get good shots, this really is a tiny investment.

Amen! :)

 

Say you go on a diving holidays, you'd do maybe 20 dives. If your buoyancy control is bad, you'll only be doing short dives, say 45 min.

 

Normally there is a max. dive-time of 1 hour, everyone with decent buoyancy control can make that!

 

So that means that over the course of 1 holiday, they loose 5 hours underwater. If that can be avoided by doing two training dives with an instructor at the beginning of the holidays, they will loose 2 hours of fun-diving but in the end they will have more time for fun-diving on that trip, and all trips to come.

 

These courses are always getting a lot of badmouthing as just a reason to earn more money and so on and so forth, but in my opinion its one of the best courses anyone can do. That is if you didn't already spend hundreds of dives learning it by yourself, like I unfortunately did when I started out.

 

-Morten

Edited by MortenHansen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The part I don't get is why good buoyancy skills are not a requirement to pass a course that certifies you to enter a liquid environment. IMHO, the peak performance buoyancy course is a money grab - regardless of agency, as I believe good buoyancy skills are mandatory for the sport/activity. Double the length (duration), and cost, of the open water course and save the impact of "<100 dives" on the environment.

 

Lee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, thats the thing, buoyancy is actually a requirement to pass a basic course. As far as I remember (and this is the way I teach) you must be able to master the following skills:

Hover (without any movement for a minimum of 30 sec)

Fin-pivot

Regulating buoyancy while diving (wetsuit compression and gas weight-loss)

 

Unfortunately a lot of instructors don't put any effort into these skills.

You'd be surprised how high a ratio of the newly certified cold-water divers cannot control their buoyancy even though they have just done a basic-course over a full winter season. That means that the duration of the course is not whats important, rather the quality control of the instructors them selves. I know a lot of people who never mastered or even attempted the hover/fin pivot skills on their beginners course.

 

Send quality control questionnaires out to all certified students and kick out any instructor who does not follow the training standards, easy.

 

-Morten

 

Oh, yearh, this thread totally took a new path, any news on the camera-ban? :D

Edited by MortenHansen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anybody know which NGO has conducted the research that led to the conclusion that UW photographers are a problem? Where can I get a copy to read it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just sent off an e-mail to Sabah Parks asking for some clarity on the matter, hopefully we can get a reply.

 

Drew, any luck?

 

-Morten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reply from Sabah Parks isn't forthcoming. However, my insider information has told me that the proposed ban, IF instituted, is going to be in place by Jan 01 2014. This is part of a plan to increase the number of divers on SIpadan to 240 a day, as the big resorts in Mabul are being built. Details of the ban are yet to be ratified.
Reefcheck was the NGO whose studies on diver per reef ratio were used, There was no full research done on Sipadan as of yet, so I'm told.

So to recap, THERE IS NO OFFICIAL WORD on the ban of cameras in Sipadan. However, the ban seems to be in supported by many operators.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I abhor anyone trashing the environment just as much as I abhorred tourists chipping away bricks from the 1000-year-old White Tower of the Tower of London as they did in the '50s, the fact of the matter is that these things are much more complex than a simple solution would suggest. For example, we in the West have fuelled the shark-finning industry by buying cheap goods from those countries that want the end-product, enriching them and pushing up the price, thereby making shark fins so much more valuable. We are ALL to blame. Modern industrial society in which we live and benefit brings with it many negatives.

I like what you're saying here John!

 

 

Along while ago, I came to the conclusion that the only real tangible power I have in our "democracy" was in my comsumptional behaviour- who received the money I spend (big corp or little family operator- more likely to care- personally).

 

If you give wealth to bad people/non people and enable them to get rich, nothing good can come from it, it only increases problems, both environmentally, culturally and socially.

 

So Idea's like linking PADI/etc tickets to regulations, just opens the corruption possibilities and damages the sport's integrity.

 

For me social awareness is priority here, commercialisation of recreational activities isn't making anything better; only more elitist, classist and corrupt.

 

Until the individual accepts that the onis is truly on them, the damage will continue- so making environmental impact education a foremost priority is key to this issue.

 

Commercial operators that train divers in fragile environments should be exposed, beratted and boycotted- dives conducted in such places should have a pre-dive briefing which headlines the issue of damaging the site.

 

I dive firstly because I love the marine environment, "the shot" comes way down in the order of priorities- in that I let karma bring things to me and concentrate on minimalising my impact and making my presence an overall benifit to that environment, via my out of water influences on consumerism and politics.

 

Big Oil and it's political influence is the biggest enemy this planet has, making this industry more transparent and accountable internationally is paramount.

Edited by DamonA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Funny enough, neither am I anymore, I'm now only CMAS and SSI, but since most people are PADI I thought this would be the best type of cert to suggest.

 

I also never did a peak performance buoyancy course, but I conducted loads of them, Perfect buoyancy they are called with SSI.

I think that for beginners (<100dives) the courses help tremendously.

 

From my personal experience its quite often the divers that never take their time to learn things right from the start (Basic course and then no training after that) that take a long time to get a grasp on things, i've seen plenty of divers with thousands of dives who dive a lot worse than most of my newly certified students, but thats an entirely different discussion.

 

Oh yes, and If its not that the divers didn't take their time to learn it right from the beginning, then its their instructor who didn't.

 

Now that you mention that you're BSAC, I believe you have an equivalent course available: http://www.bsac.com/page.asp?section=3602&sectionTitle=Buoyancy+and+Trim+Workshop

 

-Morten

I got your drift with the PADI comment, but don't agree 100% with what your driving at

 

People that scuba dive before seriously getting the hang of skindiving(correct weighting, equalising and duck diving to a depth which requires equalising) are a real problem for this issue- alas the vast majority of europeans........

 

 

I like this guys artical- http://home.gwi.net/~spectrum/scuba_skin_dive.html

Edited by DamonA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just came back from Sipadan in Jan. Comparing to my trip three years ago, underwater environment around Sipadan is seriously polluted. I cannot think of anything but diving. However, among our 20 dives there, none was made dedicating to photography. If you have a chance to tour around Mabul Island, you will still see local village people and how they blast fish for their food :sick:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got your drift with the PADI comment, but don't agree 100% with what your driving at

 

People that scuba dive before seriously getting the hang of skindiving(correct weighting, equalising and duck diving to a depth which requires equalising) are a real problem for this issue- alas the vast majority of europeans........

 

 

I like this guys artical- http://home.gwi.net/~spectrum/scuba_skin_dive.html

Actually, I think you're right, some snorkeling/skin diving experience is awesome to have when you start diving, its even part of the beginners course to do snorkeling (or swimming, I teach snorkeling). What I don't understand is what you don't agree with, I don't think that I insinuated anywhere above that I thought people who are comfortable in the water make bad divers or that general water skills are not important?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I think you're right, some snorkeling/skin diving experience is awesome to have when you start diving, its even part of the beginners course to do snorkeling (or swimming, I teach snorkeling). What I don't understand is what you don't agree with, I don't think that I insinuated anywhere above that I thought people who are comfortable in the water make bad divers or that general water skills are not important?

 

 

You all start diving as a skindiver!!!!

nobody starts diving any other way- it's just some are good divers before they learn to do scuba, some aren't- the cart before the horse !!

 

 

What I am saying is tickets don't necessarily means proficency, It helps if you have no other access to the information- but really, reading up, using forums such as this(asking questions) and regular diving with experienced divers is the best way to gain the skills.

 

I see the proliferation of different type tickets more as being the commercialisation of the sport, and yes PADI has a lot to answer for, putting dollars(profits) before common sense and being fair!!!

 

This so common in a second generation corporation like what PADI is now- the way it teaches to make divers dependent on "the PADI ticket" and the charter/guided dives scene is retarding the abilities of divers-

 

It used to be a blue collar thing, here in australia at lest(spearfishing started it all) and now we see people who aren't physically comfortable at diving making up the statistics of dead scuba divers all with under 25dives. If they had of done skindiving seriously- like at lest a year of regular diving(once a week), they might stil be alive, even if they never bother to try scuba, after discovering the effort required to become good at skindiving(diving)..........

 

 

Maybe doing some manual labour would be more useful to some people then a speciality ticket.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Aha... now we understand :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...