Monday, 5 June 2017

LABUAN: Hope for the Ocean?

Tugboats idling in Labuan 
On June 5, the world celebrated the World Environment Day. Such a day was created just to remind us that the world is living in a precarious situation; destruction of the forest, many species of plants and animals became extinct and of course ecological danger to the ocean because of over-fishing, fish bombing, oil spill, plastic pollution and global warming.

Victoria, the island capital
The island of Labuan too face these problems. To her west, is the vastness of the South China Sea. Not only her ecology is threatened, but her front door too. China had claimed almost half of all the sea based on a so called demarcation line called the Nine Dash Line. Arrogantly, they bulldozed their way by building bases on artificial reefs ignoring the sovereignty of other nations which also claimed the sea.

At first I was horrified by the attitude of the Chinese. Then, my point of view about them changed when the Chinese introduced Fishing Moratorium banning on fishing in all their national water including Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea and also South China Sea. Total ban was imposed except for conventional angling. The ban started from May and lasted until September. Many of my friends told me that buying fish from the market produced a new surprise; eggs found in fish! For decades this was a rare phenomena in Borneo. Maybe it got to do with the moratorium. It seems the Chinese were more decisive then the other Southeast Asian governments having access to this sea.

Recently, a new discovery was made not far from Labuan; the Vernon Bank. Labuan could well be the next underwater paradise for scuba divers from all over the world with more unique dive sites being discovered, including Vernon Bank according to Bernama reporter, Jailani Hassan.

The new dive sites has its own uniqueness compared with other internationally renowned dive sites. Vernon Bank was stated in the old British Admiralty Charts and Publication. The site have a number of rare marine species such as porcelain crabs and Bubble Goby. It is akin to a huge underwater atoll split into different levels.

The discovery was indeed timely. For a time being, the Chinese moratorium will be protecting the marine life in this sea. If this is China's attitude, why not let China runs the whole Pacific Ocean? I am serious; provided they are willing to impose ban on fishing for certain periods. Why not? Only then, they will be hope for our marine life. 

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

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