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Asia Dive News : Lankayan : Malaysia's paradise under threat

Lankayan is the television definition of paradise - a tiny palm-topped island with pristine white sand beaches, offering seclusion, peace and quiet and spectacular diving. A two hour boat ride from the town of Sandakan in Malaysian Borneo, Lankayan is set within the Segud Islands Marine Conservation Area (SIMCA), which was set up back in 2001.

The SIMCA project has led to Lankayan's numerous reefs becoming abundantly populated with thousands of different species thanks to its “no fishing” policy- it's widely regarded as one of the best macro diving locations in all of Asia. But Lankayan is under continual attack - fisherman continually attempt illegal fishing, indiscriminately dragging the reefs with their nets to haul up whatever they can find or using dynamite fishing to kill everything in the explosive's vicinity which can then be collected when it floats to the surface.

Lankayan's Wildlife Officers are locked in a never-ending battle to try and keep the fragile balance of their newly thriving conservation area intact.

By Chris Mitchell
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