Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sarawak – where you can swim with whale sharks

MIRI: Scuba diving and swimming with whale sharks, anybody?

The South China Sea, off the coast of northern Sarawak, is a popular route for whale sharks migrating from the north of Japan to the Antarctic Ocean and seas off Australia. And the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) believes this phenomenon could be turned into a major tourist draw.

“Whale sharks migrate through sea-routes off Tatau and Miri. These sea-routes also happen to be located in areas where there are plenty of beautiful corals ,” STB chief executive officer Gracie Geikie.

“There is good potential to turn these two activities – coral-watching and swimming with whale sharks – into an attractive package for tourists keen on offshore and underwater attractions.

“There are many tourists who are interested in marine life. Sarawak can develop these into an added attraction to complement the natural assets we have on land,” she said yesterday.

Geikie said the waters off Miri have been found to be rich in coral and marine creatures because there are many shipwrecks near here.

“Not many locals are familiar with whale sharks. These huge fishes are a protected species and they seldom come near the shores.

“Local tour operators may be able to offer special packages and bring those who are interested to see these creatures in the open seas,” she said.

The best time to see whale sharks in northern Sarawak is during this March and April period, she said.

Source : STAR
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