Sipadan To Be Closed For A Month Each Year
The world-renowned scuba hotspot of Sipadan is to shut for a month each year to minimise the impact of divers and snorkellers.
Last week the tourist authorities in the Malaysian state of Sabah confirmed that the remote island will be closed for the month of November this year. It had previously been reported that the island would be closed for the month of December each year.
Sipadan is already restricted to 120 dive permits a day and divers have been stopped from staying on the island since 2004 – access is now by day boats from the nearby resorts of Semporna and Mabul Island.
The month-long closure came after consultation with local dive operators and marine scientists.
Deputy Chief Minister & Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew said: 'The one-month temporary closure is to allow the coral and marine life to recuperate. The (dive) operators themselves suggested this and was agreed unanimously by all.'