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Author Topic: Changes for Underwater Photographers Wanting to Dive Sipadan By Travis Ball  (Read 1870 times)

MrTakTahu

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Came across this article at Underwater Photography Guide facebook. Understand there isn't any official announcement on this (unless someone can verify this). Otherwise, publishing such article without any official announcement may cause divers to misconstrue the information and affect the tourism of Sipadan or Sabah as a whole. An excerpt below and the link is given below.

New Camera Ban Coming Soon

When the permit system went into effect, so did a ban on gloves and fish pointers.  These items were thought to increase the likelihood of damage to the reef and are not permitted.  A Sipadan resort owner told us that a recent study by an International NGO has now found that Underwater Camera users are ďa significant contributor to coral damage at Sipadan."  The government authority in charge of Sipadan has already declared that an underwater camera ban will go into effect, but will not give an implementation date. Several Sipadan dive operators have told us to assume that the ban will go into effect with little notice.

The only way around the ban on underwater cameras appears to be a special exemption for professional photographers.  In this instance, a professional photographer is someone who has a proven record of shooting images for magazines, newspapers, television and more.  The resort running your trip would likely help you go through the process of requesting your exemption, but since the ban is not yet in effect, it is difficult to say how this will work.

We also read that divers going to Sipadan will be required to have an advanced open water certification, or a minimum of 20 dives - effectively saying "no newbies".

http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/sipadan-underwater-camera-ban

GreyMatter

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I hope this ban doesn't go ahead - I can't imagine a holiday where I can't take photographs, and my holiday is underwater, then I would like to record the memories. At least I've done Sipadan once, and that was probably the last time.

On the other hand, some of my regular dive buddies are not interested in photography, so it's not a big deal for divers with that preference. But many of the divers on this forum are avid photographers, so it's a pity.

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diverChris

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This article came to my attention but apparently its quite uncalled for. I forwarded it to the resort in Sipadan and this was their response.

"It seem that the authority have yet to implement on the camera ban yet. Anyway, We have instructed the resort management to check with Sabah Park in Sipadan Island for more details.  Will get back to you soon.

We have checked with all of our instructors and dive master of which dived everyday at Sipadan Island but they never been told about this matter.  It is not appropriate for us to forward the link to the Sabah Park for them to commend as so far we never receive any notice or memo (in black and white) from them.  If they want to implement on those precaution steps in order for the protection of the corals and marine lives, they will issue a notice to all the operators as well as publish in the daily newspaper.  But so far none.  When there is, we will inform you."


And from what I seen two weeks ago. Photographers were everywhere! ;D
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diverChris

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Just to add on. The minimum dive of 20 and and AOWD is also not true. Seen the resort bringing open water students to dive sipadan before. And being a touristy place... they are also many beginner divers and snorkelers. To be frank... I doubt the source  of the article...
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Canon S95 w Ikelite Housing
Sea&Sea YS-01 and YS-02 Strobes
Inon Macro UCL165 M67, FIX UWL -04 Fisheye