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No-dive zones don't work...

Yvette Lee - Rescue/Print Shop Owner-UW Photojournalist
May 26, 2006 at 9:32:14

As someone who lives and dives in the general area where Sipadan is located, let me tell you from experience that having marine sanctuaries that prohibit divers are a sure way to make those sanctuaries, "paper sanctuaries".

Divers in this part of the world are the eyes that see what goes on underwater in marine sanctuaries. Without divers checking up on those who are supposed to be policing the protected reefs, the temptation to fish, allow others to fish whether legal or illegal for an exchange of cash is just to great in an area where more than 70% of the people live below the poverty line.

Divers fees are a way to help the communities hosting them provide a small stipend or incentive, such as a sack of rice, to the rangers which are usually fisherfolk who live-off the sea.

I know that Sipadan recently imposed diver cap. Is this being enforced?

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