Efforts are underway to
set up the first dedicated macro dive site in Malaysia to coincide with the Visit Malaysia 2020 initiative.
For that purpose, the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry's (Motac) Sabah office recently conducted a five-day "Macro Dive Site Mapping Voluntourism Programme" in the straits of Bum-Bum Island, as reported by Astro Awani
Why Bum-Bum Island
Because it could just be Sabah's newest dive tourism site following the discovery of muck dive sites.
Such sites house a high density of minuscule marine life that is heaven for underwater photographers and videographers, as assured by MOTAC director for Sabah Ag Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar Ahmad.
They tend to use macro lenses to magnify the subject.
"Muck diving refers as a diving activity conducted in dirty or mucky environment," he said.
"We have recorded quite a number of unique and endemic species, such as skeleton shrimps, hairy shrimps, tiger shrimps, decorator crabs, orangutan crabs, and also a handful species of small cuttlefishe like the flambouyant, popcorn, bobtail and papuan and pygmy cuttlefish.
"There is also various types of nudibranch (seaslugs), such as melibe and Thecacera Pacifica or famously known as Pickachu,” he added.
He added that 14 dive sites were explored and eight sites were mapped as potential spots for macro diving.
Besides that, having a dedicated macro dive site can remap Pulau Bum-Bum as a must-dive spot for divers from all over the world, complementing other established dive sites in Semporna, namely Sipadan-Mabul-Kapalai and potentially could be one of the best macro dive site in the world.
So far, 10 volunteers from the Semporna Tourism Association and Semporna Professional Divers Association have joined the program.