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Encyclopedia > Sipadan

Sipadan is the only oceanic island in Malaysia; rising 2,000 feet or 600m from the seabed; it has been formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct volcanic cone that took thousands of years to develop. Sipadan is located at the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin, the centre of one of the richest marine habitats in the world. More than 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species have been classified in this ecosystem. Volcano 1. ... The Indo-Pacific is the aggregate of the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the minor seas between the two in the general area of Indonesia. ...

Rare diving scenes such as schools of greenback turtles and hawksbill turtles nesting and mating, schools of barracuda & big-eye trevally in tornado-like formations, pelagic species such as manta rays, eagle rays, scalloped hammerhead sharks and whale sharks can be seen here. Species See text. ... A family of fishes which includes the Pompanos and Jacks Pilot fish - Naucrates ductor Categories: Fish stubs ... Binomial name Manta birostris Dondorff, 1798 The manta ray or giant manta is the largest of the ray fish, ranging up to eight meters (25 ft) across and weighing up 3,000 kg (3 tons). ... Genera Myliobatis Rhinoptera Pteromylaeus Aetobatus Aetomylaeus Manta Mobula Eagle rays (the Myliobatidae family of fish) are a family of mostly large rays living in the open ocean rather than at the bottom of the sea. ... Species Sphyrna (Sphyrna) lewini Sphyrna (Sphyrna) mokarran Sphyrna (Sphyrna) zygaena Sphyrna (Sphyrna) couardi, Sphyrna (Mesozygaena) corona Sphyrna (Platysqualus) media Sphyrna (Platysqualus) tiburo Sphyrna (Platysqualus) tudes The hammerhead shark (genus Sphyrna) is a member of the family Sphyrnidae. ... Binomial name Rhincodon typus Smith, 1828 The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a large, distinctively marked member of the subclass Elasmobranchii of the class Chondrichthyes. ...

A mysterious turtle tomb lies underneath the column of the island, formed by an underwater limestone cave with a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers that contain many skeletal remains of turtles. Limey shale overlaid by limestone. ...



In the past, the island was at the centre of a territorial dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia. This matter was brought to the International Court of Justice for trial. In Dec 2002, the court awarded Sipadan to Malaysia along with Ligitan island based on "effective occupation". Peace Palace, seat of the ICJ. The International Court of Justice (known colloquially as the World Court or ICJ; French: Cour internationale de justice) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. ... Ligitan is a small island off Borneo in the east. ...

In year 2004, the Government of Malaysia ordered all on-site dive & resort operators of Sipadan to move their structures out of the island by the 31st of December 2004. This move is mainly to conserve a balanced eco-system for Sipadan and its surrounding. Diving will continue to be allowed in Sipadan for divers who are ferried in and out by dive & resort operators from the mainland and surrounding islands.

On May 15, 2006, a barge carrying thousands of tonnes of building material breached on the island, destroying a significant portion of reef between the old pier and Barracuda Point, said to be about 372sq metres May 15 is the 135th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (136th in leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

The purpose of the building supplies (mainly concrete and gravel) was apparently for a USD1.3 million tourist facility including resthouse, toilets and scuba shop, said the State Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat but denied by the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman. Later, it was reported that it was a Federal Government funded project.

Diving Sipadan

Ever since diving celebrity Jacques Cousteau raved about the diversity of marine life, this dive mecca has been indisputably the most famous scuba destination in Malaysia. It is located off the east coast of Sabah, Malaysia's eastern most state, and lies on the north-eastern corner of Borneo, the world's third largest island. Jacques-Yves Cousteau (June 11, 1910 - June 25, 1997) was a French naval officer, explorer and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water. ...

The Sipadan diving legend has passed through the world's dive community to the extent that all divers with an interest in visiting the best sites in the world, have this small island near the top of their wish list.

Pulau Sipadan Island was at the top of Rodale's Scuba Diving Magazine Gold List for 'The Top Dive Destination in the World'. In fact the island shared its top spot with two other destinations known for the amazing diversity of their marine life - the Galapagos Islands and Truk in Micronesia

The list of attractions is quite staggering and all the more exceptional as it involves big fish encounters, something very rare in Asia these days - at Barracuda Point you can find yourself surrounded by a spiralling vortex of barracuda, so large that the sunlight is often clouded out. At South Point there are scores of reef sharks, large schools of passing trevally and herds of massive marauding bumphead parrotfish. When diving in Sipadan everywhere you turn you'll see turtles, munching on the sponges and algae, or lazing on the wall ledges. If you take the time to look closely at the walls you'll see a wealth of macro life and fish species to rival most destinations, although this is often overlooked due to the other major attractions vying for your attention.


  • Fabio Spadi (2003) "Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan: New Parameters for the Concept of Dependency in the Maritime Environment? The ICJ judgment of 17 December 2002",The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law 18: 295-310

It was where the Abu Sayyaf has taken their hostages.

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Dive & Resort Operators

Lodge Operators & Travel Agents

Flag of Sabah Sabah Coat of Arms of Sabah
Divisions: Interior Division | Kudat Division | Sandakan Division | Tawau Division | West Coast Division
City: Kota Kinabalu
Towns: Beaufort | Beluran | Inanam | Keningau | Kinabatangan | Kuala Penyu | Kota Belud | Kota Marudu | Kudat | Kunak | Kundasang | Lahad Datu | Nabawan | Papar | Penampang | Pitas | Ranau | Sandakan | Semporna | Sipitang | Tambunan | Tamparuli | Tawau | Tenom | Tuaran
Islands: Banggi Island | Gaya Island | Layang Layang Island | Ligitan Island | Sebatik Island | Sipadan Island

  Results from FactBites:
Sipadan divers, Sipadan island, Sipadan Dive Center (608 words)
Sipadan is the only deep-water oceanic island in Malaysia, the island itself is the tip of a precipitous sea mountain; an isolated column of rock rising 600 meters (2,000 ft) from the sea floor.
Sipadan is perched on the northern margin of the Celebes Sea, a huge basin, which at its deepest point plunges to 6,200 m.
Sipadan is unusual in that it is the only island in Malaysia where you can expect to encounter a large number of these harmless denizens of the deep.
  More results at FactBites »



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