Downbelow’s resident PADI Course Director Richard was guiding a dive with our professional diving interns on 1 February 2012, when he came across a large, entangled illegal net in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

The net was entangled on one of his favourite sites, Ribbon Reef. The ecological disaster stretched from 16m down to 30m, making it particularly challenging to remove.

The area was marked for a return trip and a full removal, but Richard cut free some trapped lobster and fish while surveying the area.

The net was reported to Sabah Parks and 2 hours later a group of Downbelow staff and professional interns were assembled, briefed and heading to the site for the removal.

The team released alive horseshoe crabs, stargazers and a collection of other fish and crustaceans that was needlessly trapped by the expansive net.

A full, detailed report of the incident will be handed over to Sabah Parks in the hope that more protection can be given to this location, which is one of the park’s most beautiful and thriving reefs.

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