Thursday, 1 June 2017

LABUAN: The Diving Site

Sea surrounding Labuan during sunset
"William brought Andy out to the sea, where a professional diver guided them to see two sunken ships. The watery tomb was now home to various species of marine life, especially century-old grouper fish which flocked together. After all Labuan was located in the South China Sea, which was home to endemic tropical marine life not seen anywhere else. On the boat, the diver told William and Andy that what they were seeing might not last another fifty years, so this is the best time to see it. He explained that overfishing and fish bombing would destroy the ecological balance unless the government put a stop to these activities. William looked at Andy. Andy looked away."

From THE EURASIANS page 250

I was talking about the two sunken ships, SS De Klerk (Australian wreck in 1942) and USS Salute (American wreck in 1943). It used to be an interesting diving site and indeed full of grouper fish. It was near the three beautiful islands; Kuraman, Rusukan Kecil and Rusukan Besar. These islands were gazetted as the Labuan Marine Park. Surrounding these islands are coral reefs stretching miles out in all directions.

Sadly, covering most of the island beaches are dead corals that look like bones. These beaches looks white and coarse because of the grinded dead corals littering the sea. Most probably this is due to human activities such as fish bombing which is still ongoing or due to the effect of oil spills. After all, Labuan is considered one of the biggest hub for the oil and gas industry. These islands are about 14 kilometer from Labuan capital, Victoria

Victoria Harbor in Labuan
  There used to be abundant of fish in Labuan. My late maternal grandfather used to tell me just half and hour in the sea, he could fill one keranjang (big basket) full of fish. Because of rare interaction with people, lobsters and grouper fish were friendly and playful when they encountered humans; and they were plentiful. Nowadays, they are few and difficult to find because of unrestricted fishing and trawling activities. Seafood restaurants could be considered one of the factors that fueled the demand for these depleting marine life. So... yes in 50 years time, told by the diver to William and Andy, all these will be gone!    

The first English romance-thriller from Borneo
Search also THE EURASIANS by Don Peter ebook

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