THE STAR – Tourism stakeholders are campaigning vigorously to make Sabah’s Semporna Strait the best macro dive site in Malaysia.
Macro diving involves using special lenses to capture images of tiny underwater creatures.
Semporna Tourism Association president Jamilah Ang said he was promoting the location to attract domestic and international divers.
“We made a short documentary video for marketing purposes as well as to showcase the night scuba diving activities.
This video will be (part of) promotional material during the Malaysian International Dive Expo (MIDE) taking place at the Kuala Lumpur World Trade Center (WTC) from May 27-29.
“With the variety of products here, we hope tour operators can generate more revenue.
“We hope that macro diving and night diving activities will also make Semporna Strait the main destination for divers from inside and outside the country,” she added in a statement yesterday.
Meanwhile, underwater videographer Ag Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar said Malaysia needed to have its own macro dive site to compete with neighboring countries like Indonesia and the Philippines, which are known for the sites in Lembeh and Anilao as being among the best in the world for underwater macro. photography.
“The Semporna Strait is an area rich in tiny marine life and the diversity of these species could attract more divers, making us more competitive,” he added.
He noted that two new marine species were discovered there in 2018 and received recognition of their status this year with the cooperation of the Center for Marine Ecosystem Studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
“At the same time, we hope that more local young people will learn and hone their skills in this activity.
“Like birdwatching, tourists are always encouraged to be assigned a guide to identify species in an area.
“The same can be done for macro-diving activities, where the skills to identify marine life as small as 5mm underwater at night could bring in good pay,” he added.