SEMPORNA: Professional divers here are concerned over the methods used to tag turtles in Mabul waters.
Semporna Professional Divers Association deputy president Dahlan Maizin said a recent tagging process held in Mabul waters involved the same technique of using lift bag to retrieve turtles from sea to the surface.
“One of us had taken part in the research work few years ago and took a video of the process.
“The footage showed a group of divers retrieving turtles from water to surface (to be tagged on the boat) using a lift bag.“For human, when they go diving, it is life threatening to shoot up to the water surface from underwater due to the effects of drastic change in pressure to body functions. It could be the same for the turtles,” he said in a statement, Tuesday.
Dive masters and instructors in Mabul also claimed to have recently found dead turtles with rope tied around them, but they are unsure whether it is related to research or any illegal capture of the species.
Dahlan also said that regular divers in Mabul also realised that turtles at the waters here fear the presence of human beings.Having been diving for almost 10 years in Mabul, Dahlan also noticed that turtles at the dive sites are no longer as “friendly” to divers as they used to be.
“Unlike those researchers who do their studies twice a year, they might not be aware of behavioural changes in these turtles.
“For us who dive here every day, these turtles swim away from humans and there are not as many of them as before,” he said.