KOTA KINABALU: A small part of the coral reefs at Sipadan Island, which is one of the world top dive sites has been damaged by a 900-metre-long drift net.
Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin in expressing his disappointment over the incident wants stern action to be taken against the perpetrators.
The minister issued the statement on Sept 24/Sat here following the incident at Sipadan Island on Sept 23/Fri.
The drift net was found stuck across Barracuda Point Dive Site to Hanging Garden when the park rangers and dive marshals were doing a cleaning up exercise along the beach.
Following that, 25 divers from Seahorse Scuba Sdn Bhd, Dive Semporna and Borneo Juggle were deployed to remove the drift net. They found 18 fish of various types including sharks were caught inside.
The boatman of the fishing trawler who came to the island to claim the drift net was detained for investigation while the trawler was confiscated.
The boatman claimed that the drift net which they floated in the sea was carried away by current to Sipadan Island.
“If due to negligence, appropriate action should be taken to serve as a reminder to all parties to be more careful in the future,” said Jafry.