asia dive sites
asian scuba diving








Asia Dive News 2005

Asia Pacific Dive and Marine Ecology
News and Articles 2006 archive

Malaysia's turtle island faces uncertain future
The island of Pulau Upeh off the Malaysian State of Malacca has only one small sandy beach. But it happens to be one of the most important hawksbill nesting sites in the country. (Dec 11, 06)

Four undersea volcanoes discovered near Phuket
A team of Thai and German marine geologists has found four volcanoes under the sea about 200 kilometres away from Phuket, the team leader announced Monday. (Dec 11, 06)

Satellite tracking marine turtles in Vietnam
A new satellite tracking programme to monitor green turtle populations in Vietnam has been successfully launched at Con Dao Island. (Dec 7, 06)

Thai fisherman arrested with protected species
A Thai fisherman was caught with a boat load of protected fish while fishing off Koh Bon on Saturday. His haul included lobsters, clown fish, butterfly fish, moray eels and parrot fish, all packaged in about 20 bags. (Nov 30, 06)

Pristine dive sites in North Sulawesi spared
North Sulawesi, including areas of outstanding natural beauty above and below sea level such as Bunaken National Park, Lembeh Strait and Bangka Island, has been spared an environmental tragedy. (Nov 30, 06)

Palau sea turtles travel as far as Indonesia
Palau's sea turtles travel as far as Indonesia or perhaps even farther according to the latest report from local conservationists who had been using satellite transmitters that are mounted into the carapace (shell) of the endangered species to track their movements and habitat. (Nov 28, 06)

Philippine conservation policy to protect Asia's Coral Triangle
President Gloria Arroyo has enacted a new national conservation policy for the Philippines to protect the archipelagic country's unique and rich nature, with initial focus on the heart of Southeast Asia's Coral Triangle. (Nov 11, 06)

UN warns Asia faces marine pollution crisis
The rapidly growing economies and populations of East Asia are putting the region's marine ecosystem under increasing stress, the United Nations warned Monday. A new study finds 90 percent of Asia's sewage is discharged into the marine environment waters without treatment, threatening fisheries, mangrove forests, coral reefs and coastal wetlands. (Oct 26, 06)

Warship sunk in Pattaya to create artificial reef
The Thai navy has sunk a decommissioned warship near Koh Larn in Pattaya Bay to create a second artificial reef and marine breeding ground in honor of the King of Thailand's 60th year on the throne. (Oct 19, 06)

Thailand installs underwater tsunami memorial
Thailand's first underwater tsunami memorial was laid down on the seabed in Tonsai Bay, off Koh Phi Phi Don, in a ceremony on September 30. (Oct 12, 06)

Asia Dive Expo 2007 makes waves in Bangkok
The long-anticipated venue announcement for Asia Dive Expo (ADEX) 2007, which will be held from 27-29 April, has been revealed today by show organiser, Suntec Integrated Media. (Oct 3, 06)

Report: Indonesian coral reefs survive tsunami but not humans
The impact of a tsunami on a coral reef is minimal in comparison to human-caused damage according to a new study published in the journal Atoll Research Bulletin. (Sep 29, 06)

Davao coral reefs in poor condition
Less than 20 percent of coral reefs in the Davao Gulf are in good condition, an environment official in Southern Mindanao said in Wednesday's Ugnayan sa Royal Mandaya. (Sep 25, 06)

Over 50 new species discovered in Indonesia
Scientists combing through undersea fauna off Indonesia's Papua province said they had discovered dozens of new species, including a shark that walks on its fins and a shrimp that looks like a praying mantis. (Sep 22, 06)

Rebuilding the reefs in Thailand
For years coral reefs have been destroyed by both natural and man-made causes. Realising the importance of coral reefs both as a sanctuary and nursery grounds for all kinds of marine life and as a tourist attraction, several governmental and private sector organisations have initiated coral rehabilitation projects in many areas in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. (Sep 18, 06)

El Niño returns to the Pacific as ocean temperatures rise
Scientists at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center reported today that El Niño conditions have developed in the tropical Pacific and are likely to continue into early 2007. Ocean temperatures increased remarkably in the equatorial Pacific during the last two weeks. (Sep 14, 06)

Philippine oil spill spares 47,000 ha of coral
More than 47,000 hectares of hard coral in the coastal areas of southern Guimaras were found to have been spared from destruction by the oil spill, according to a team of scientists from Silliman University. (Sep 13, 06)

NAUI sponsors marine education program in Asia
NAUI Pacific Rim recently hosted twenty-five lucky students at the Coral Redang Resort in Terengganu, Malaysia to participate and study about marine life as part of its Student Marine Education Program. (Sep 13, 06)

More divers going to Sipadan illegally
An increasing number of divers are going to the environmentally sensitive diving haven of Pulau Sipadan, off the east coast of Sabah, illegally. (Sep 5, 06)

Oil company vows to clean up Philippine coastline after spill
An official of Petron Corporation said the company would not leave the Guimaras area until it completely cleans the sea and coastlines of the bunker oil that is leaking from a chartered tanker that sank off the Philippine island about two weeks ago. (Aug 25, 06)

Phuket underwater park ready for divers
Sculptures worth 4 million baht have been placed on the seabed at a depth of 15 meters close to Koh Racha Yai, Phuket, and are being promoted as a special “must see” site for divers in the coming high season. (Aug 24, 06)

Philippines evacuates residents after oil spill
Rescue workers in the Philippines will evacuate some residents living on a tropical resort island on Wednesday after an oil spill polluted a marine reserve and threatened the livelihoods of thousands of people. (Aug 16, 06)

Rays of hope in the Philippines
Nine manta rays were recently spotted for the first time in 20 years gliding through Basura, the internationally-renowned dive site in the Philippines. (Aug 16, 06)

Can Indonesia's devastated fishing grounds be saved?
With an estimated 94 percent its immense coral reef system in decline, Indonesia is beginning to grapple with what may be an impossible task: reversing what a government agency calls the “precipitous decline” of some of the richest fishing grounds in the world. (Aug 9, 06)

Leatherback turtle effectively extinct in Malaysia
The endangered leatherback turtle population is effectively extinct in Malaysia and has deprived the country one of its most charismatic tourist lures, says a United Nations Environment Programme report. (Aug 8, 06)

Malaysian PM angry at Sipadan development project
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi lashed out at Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman for going ahead with the RM4.5mil clubhouse project at Pulau Sipadan despite his objection. (Aug 1, 06)

Andaman seabed to be mapped by scientists
Thai and German scientists will this week begin mapping the seabed of the Andaman Sea off the coasts of Phuket and Phang Nga to better prepare for similar disasters as the December 26, 2004 tsunami. (Jul 31, 06)

Vietnam to half fishing fleet for coral reef protection
Vietnam plans to almost halve its coastal fishing fleet by 2010 to protect fragile marine resources that have been badly depleted by over-fishing, local officials and foreign experts say. (Jul 27, 06)

Managing Taiwan's whale shark trade
By implementing the world's first whale shark harvest and monitoring system, Taiwan will halve its whale shark harvest quota from 60 to 30 individuals by 2008. (Jul 27, 06)

Survey reveals coral reefs under threat in Vietnam
Scientists in Vietnam are flabbergasted about the results of a survey conducted a week ago, which shows the serious recession of coral reefs in Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province, a world natural heritage site. (Jul 20, 06)

Indonesia tsunami warning system not ready
Eighteen months after the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, hundreds have died after a giant wave struck the Indonesian island of Java. Their deaths have raised questions about the failure of a promised Indian Ocean tsunami early warning system to sound an adequate alert. (Jul 19, 06)

Endangered coral reef fish seized in Indonesia
Indonesian airport authorities seized 36 humphead wrasse, the third seizure of this endangered fish species in the country this year alone. The live fish, harvested in Indonesia, were destined for Hong Kong. (Jul 13, 06)

Lankayan : Malaysia's paradise under threat
Lankayan is one of Borneo's best dive destinations thanks to its conservation area status. But the island paradise is fighting a continual war with poachers who could destroy the fragile balance of Lankayan's reefs. (Jun 28, 06)

A major step forward for marine protection in Indonesia
Following a growing trend to protect sensitive marine ecosystems, Indonesia has announced plans to create a marine protected area (MPA) over 1.2 million hectares off the eastern coast of the Derawan Archipelago in the Sulawesi Sea. (Jun 21, 06)

Andamans losing battle with marine poachers
The fragile maritime ecology of India's Andaman and Nicobar archipelago is under threat from widespread illegal fishing, poaching of rare species and the collection of rare coral, a top official said on Friday. (Jun 19, 06)

Coral collection continues in the south Philippines despite ban
Fishermen continue to gather and sell sea corals to local collectors and tourists in the southern Philippine port city of Zamboanga despite a government ban and efforts to stop the illegal activities. (Jun 14, 06)

Whale sharks put Philippine town on the tourist map
Cocooned in rural seclusion, Donsol, a placid little town, long kept a big but unintended secret: In the first half of the year, the sea swarms with the world's largest fish. (Jun 2, 06)

Koh Chang's first underwater cleanup a great success
We have all heard about the Similans and Surin Islands, Phuket and Koh Tao and about the diving in Western Thailand but more and more people are discovering a new dive destination in Thailand: Koh Chang or “Elephant Island”. (Jun 2, 06)

Sipadan contractor gets off with apology and clean-up
After all the hue and cry, the contractor who damaged the coral reef off Pulau Sipadan has been allowed to get off with an apology and the cost of cleaning up. (May 25, 06)

Japanese researchers using plates to save coral
In an effort to help coral grow in reefs amid rising water temperatures, researchers in Japan are using ceramic plates to provide a safe haven for fertilized coral eggs. (May 25, 06)

Bio-rock reef generation projects online in Thailand
Construction of Thailand's most technically advanced coral regeneration projects has commenced at various sites in the Gulf of Thailand and can now be actively monitored via the internet by anyone with an internet connection. (May 25, 06)

Malaysian minister threatens to close Sipadan
Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat Thursday said that he was seriously considering closing Sipadan Island if people were so concerned about the environmental damage to the island and its surrounding areas of late. (May 19, 06)

Barge wipes out Sipadan reef in tragic accident
Hundreds of meters of coral and turtles have been wiped out at Sipadan in a tragic accident involving a large barge and the local irresponsibility of whoever is managing the island. (May 17, 06)

Wrecks harming reefs, warn Taiwanese environmentalists
Lawmakers and green groups held a joint press conference to warn about the damage that sunken ships were doing to the nation's undersea coral reserves. (May 15, 06)

Thai company seeks to salvage submerged WWII weapons
A Thai marine-supply company based in southern Phuket is seeking permission to salvage what it believes are two British "human torpedoes" that have been lying in the sea near Phuket since World War II, local media Saturday reported. (May 9, 06)

Malaysian state drops rare turtle as mascot
A Malaysian state is to drop its symbol and sports mascot - the turtle - amid allegations by conservationists of embarrassment at the creature's demise. (May 1, 06)

Clownfish gets protection in Thailand
The Clownfish will be listed as a protected species under a new regulation to be issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in Thailand. The species was largely known only to divers and aquarists before springing into public prominence with a starring role in the Pixar animated movie Finding Nemo. (Apr 28, 06)

Senator calls for protection of Philippine coral reefs
A top senator said now more than ever, the continued preservation and protection of local underwater resources should be ensured particularly coral reefs which add significantly to the attraction of popular dive sites in the country. (Apr 26, 06)

Japan to grow coral to claim disputed territory
Scientists are to implant coral “seeds” on an isolated reef 1,000 miles south of Tokyo in an effort to establish it as an official island, rather than just an ocean atoll. If they succeed they will secure the economic rights to 162,000sq miles of ocean that occupy a crucial strategic position and are rich in fishing. (Apr 26, 06)

Diving the Similans: The Khao Lak comeback
This resort town nestled on the southwest coast of Thailand, on the still-pristine Andaman Sea, has made a remarkable recovery after the tsunami of 2004. After near-destruction in that cataclysm, it now is striving to bring back the tourists it had in more prosperous times. Memories run deep, but the community is looking toward the future, and returning the area to its former glory. (Apr 25, 06)

Philippine tourism official warns scuba divers to stop harassing marine wildlife
"It is wrong to harass, chase, touch or hold" marine life while underwater, Tourism Assistant Secretary Cynthia Carrion said, reacting to a recent front-page photo carried by The STAR showing a diver "playing with a turtle." (Apr 24, 06)

Artificial reef project research underway in Pattaya
Underwater sites have now been surveyed to find the most suitable locations for sinking 60 disused railway carriages that will act as a reef and encourage the growth of marine life. (Apr 24, 06)

Local whale shark returns to Andaman dive sites
A popular whale shark nicknamed “Big Boy” has been spotted off Koh Surin, and around Richelieu Rock, Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, Pakdee Khruthanang of the Phuket Eco-Tourism Association told the Phuket Gazette today. (Apr 19, 06)

The majestic mantas of Purple Rock
The idyllic island of Koh Lanta lies on the Andaman coast in southern Thailand . It is striving for the popularity of neighbouring tourist destinations such as Koh Phi Phi and Phuket but has a long way to go, and this is what attracted me to spend a week or so there over the holiday season. (Apr 18, 06)

Chinese sea on verge of death
Industrial pollution on an enormous scale means eastern China's Bohai Sea could be "dead" within 12 years unless radical action is taken to stop toxic waste poisoning the water known as "the fish storehouse", top environmental advisers have told Parliament. (Apr 17, 06)

100 Andaman fish types to be protected in Thailand
Fishing for more than 100 kinds of fish off six south Thailand provinces on the Andaman Sea will be prohibited once a new ministerial regulation takes effect in the near future, a senior official at the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry said. (Apr 12, 06)

Greenpeace sounds alert over turtle deaths in India
More than 2,000 endangered Olive Ridley turtles have washed ashore dead in eastern India over the past three months, the environmental group Greenpeace said on Tuesday, blaming illegal fishing. (Apr 7, 06)

Malaysian state bans fins to protect coral
State authorities have banned the use of flippers in a bid to protect corals especially in the coastal waters off Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian. (Apr 7, 06)

British tourist dies after dive off Koh Samui
A British man died and his diving mate was injured during a diving expedition near the Erawan oil rig south of Koh Samui on Tuesday. A marine rescue team went to the oil rig to rescue the divers and their group, underwater treasure sightseers. (Apr 6, 06)

Sunken treasure at center of murky Indonesian scandal
Southeast Asia's richest underwater archaeological find in decades is stored under a leaky corrugated iron roof at a stable in Indonesia's capital, guarded by marines who claim a solitary gun between them. (Apr 6, 06)

China to turn Russian aircraft carrier into artificial reef
A Russian aircraft carrier converted into a theme park in the southern Chinese town of Shenzhen could find its final resting place as an artificial reef in Hong Kong waters. (Mar 29, 06)

Maldives breaks most scuba divers record
Maldives has made a new world record for “Most people scuba diving simultaneously” on a single site. (Mar 28, 06)

Race to build the world's first underwater hotel
The race is on to build the world's first underwater hotel. Two companies are hoping to start work within weeks on their projects — an £80m development in the South Pacific, and an even more lavish £330m scheme in the Persian Gulf. (Mar 27, 06)

Divers arrested for diving in Philippine protected sanctuary
Two German nationals and their Filipino guide were arrested last week and later fined for scuba diving inside a marine sanctuary off the coast of Brgy. Lipayo, Dauin, Oriental Negros. (Mar 26, 06)

Scuba divers adrift for 48 hours after boat breaks down in Philippines
Four scuba divers, three of which are foreigners, including three pumboat crew were rescued after the pumpboat they were riding developed engine trouble mid-sea between Bohol and Camiguin islands. (Mar 23, 06)

Dive Puerto Galera, a short history
Then and now, Oriental Mindoro's center of natural beauty was Puerto Galera, with its beaches, coves, superb natural harbor where the Spanish ships took refuge during storms, marine life, corals, scuba diving sites, falls and bay. (Mar 21, 06)

Tsunami rebuilding threatens Asian coral reefs
Coral reefs that survived the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami are coming under threat from rushed rebuilding efforts in the region, two international environmental groups have reported. (Mar 21, 06)

Filipino fishermen resort to destructive dynamite
Local fishermen in the once tranquil Babuyan Islands in Cagayan province, citing poor catch in recent months, have resorted to dynamite blasting to salvage metal from shipwrecks surrounding the islands. (Mar 20, 06)

Twenty two Japanese dive students rescued at sea
Twenty-two Japanese scuba diving students were rescued off Okinawa Sunday evening and early Monday morning by volunteer rescuers and several local and U.S. military agencies after they were stranded in the East China Sea during foul weather conditions that suddenly swept in the area. (Mar 16, 06)

French Polynesian coral reefs go online
Internet users will soon be able to access a French research institute's Coral Reef Atlas for French Polynesia, a printed work published confidentially for professionals a year ago. (Mar 3, 06)

Overfishing in the Philippines threatens whale sharks and local fisheries
A one-year study conducted by WWF shows that 32.5 per cent of commercially-important fish species are being overfished, threatening the livelihood of thousands of fishermen and an important whale shark population. (Mar 3, 06)

Fiji's coral reefs under threat
Beneath the aquamarine waters of the picturesque Coral Coast-mecca of Fiji tourism-corals are dying. The coral reef is becoming blighted by blossoming blotches of brown. They mark locations where algae thrives, where corals once grow along 60 kilometres of Viti Levu's south coast. Pollution from hotels and villages has become a fatal combination. (Mar 2, 06)

2006 - The year of the turtle in Asia
March 1st marks the official start of the Year of the Marine Turtle within the Indian Ocean and South-East Asian region. (Mar 1, 06)

Coral reef discovered off coast of Thailand
A coral reef spanning several hundred acres and teeming with fish has been discovered off the coast of Thailand and should be given protected status, the World Wide Fund for Nature said Wednesday. (Feb 23, 06)

Shark diving at the shopping mall in Thailand
Bangkok has become one of Thailand's dive spots with the introduction by Siam Ocean World, the aquarium located underneath the Siam Paragon shopping centre, of a 'Dive with the Sharks' programme. (Feb 21, 06)

Malaysian wreck looters stealing artifacts worth millions
Following the lead of dive industry-endorsed scuba diving looters Leigh Bishop and Brad Sheard, criminal gangs are stealing artifacts worth millions of dollars from shipwrecks in Malaysian waters. (Feb 16, 06)

Hundreds of endangered coral reef fish released in Indonesia
Hundreds of humphead wrasse were released back into the waters of the Bunaken National Marine Park after being confiscated from a fisherman who was intending to illegally sell the internationally-protected fish species abroad. (Feb 13, 06)

Blasts from the past: Bikini Atoll 60 years on
Today Bikini is a lonely but impressive diving site, a circle of 23 coral and sand islands in warm, clear, azure waters. But in July 1946, the first of a series of US atomic-bomb tests there set off a costly and perilous nuclear arms race. It was a dangerous game but six decades later, newcomers want to play. (Feb 12, 06)

Two Japanese divers rescued off Palau
Two Japanese divers survived the threat of dehydration, hypothermia, sunburn and sharks while drifting for more than 30 hours in the open waters of Palau earlier this week. (Feb 9, 06)

Exotic Indonesian fish smuggled into UK airport
Hundreds of exotic fish which were smuggled into the UK are being looked after by experts at London Zoo. Almost 1,000 Banggai cardinal fish and clown fish were found hidden in a cargo of legally imported fish which arrived at Heathrow Airport from Indonesia. (Feb 8, 06)

Thai fishermen fear for future stocks
Concerns are rising over fishermen using illegal ring nets and other illegal fishing practices that are damaging the environment and reducing the fish and squid population. (Feb 6, 06)

Rare megamouth shark netted in the Philippines
Hundreds of residents of Bayawan City in southern Oriental Negros woke up yesterday to the sight of the biggest fish they ever saw following the accidental capture by fishermen of a rare five-meter megamouth shark. (Jan 31, 06)

Artifical reef project gets underway in Phuket
Phuket's Bangtao Bay, has commenced the seeding of the bay area with concrete structures to promote the development of an artifical reef. (Jan 30, 06)

Cargo Ship runs aground at Philippines' Apo Reef National Park
Strong winds and rains caused by a low pressure area drove a Manila-bound Indonesian vessel from Malaysia to run aground at the Apo Reef Natural Park, a protected area in Occidental Mindoro. (Jan 27, 06)

Turtle nesting areas declining in Thailand
Sea turtle numbers are continuing to drop in Thailand as new dangers, including tourism and the accidental capture by commercial fishermen, add to the threat, said a senior government official. (Jan 17, 06)

Tabu waters: Protecting Fiji's Great Sea Reef
Fiji is leading the pack of coastal nations by committing to the establishment of a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) by 2020. The area, covering 30 per cent of its territorial waters or 39 million hectares, will be the largest system of underwater sanctuaries in the world. (Jan 11, 06)

Coral planting project to save Singapore's reefs
In a massive undersea reforestation project, corals are being replanted in a bid to save the reefs in Singapore's waters. (Jan 11, 06)

Where the dictators don't go: sub aqua in Burma
Burma is an unforgettable paradise - if you stay 30 meters below the sea surrounding the Mergui Archipelago. Todd John enjoys exceptional scuba diving in a country otherwise indisposed. (Jan 10, 06)

Thailand bids to become regional dugong conservation center
Thailand has made a bid to act as the central coordinator for conserving the rare dugong, or sea cow, within the Asian region. (Jan 10, 06)

Chinese treasure ship to reveal its secrets after 800 years
Stormy waves cut short the voyage of the Chinese merchant vessel as it left a southern port laden with exquisite porcelain 800 years ago to sell its wares along the ancient trade route known as the Marine Silk Road. Now Chinese scientists want to awaken the ship from its slumber in the silt 20 nautical miles off the coast of Guangdong. (Jan 6, 06)

Final report on Thailand post tsunami reefs issued by NEAQ
In the aftermath of last year's cataclysmic tsunami in Thailand and Indonesia, Dr. Greg Stone of the New England Aquarium co-led an expedition to survey the damage caused to the coral reefs there. (Jan 5, 06)

Indonesian ocean poaching doubles
The number of Indonesian boats caught fishing illegally in Australian waters has more than doubled in a year. A total of 607 illegal boats were seized last year, compared with 289 in 2004, according to figures released yesterday by federal Fisheries Minister. (Jan 4, 06)

[ Asia Dive News Archive 2005 ]