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Snorkeling Gone Wrong

I really do not know what to name this ad hoc blog post. Woke up this morning to some pics (disturbing pics) that buddy Yoga found on Facebook. These were pictures of a snorkeling guide and a bunch of people hanging on to a sea turtle for a photo!

Initially I thought it was that only and perhaps a one time off event. Out of curiosity I went to check out the tour operator's (Perhentian Setia Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd) Facebook account and found even more pics. From manhandling turtles, it extended to corals and fishes. 

I am not singling out this operator. As I went on reading and checking out online, I was perplexed! It seemed rampant whether with this operator or otherwise. When we explore nature, we look at them and remember how beautiful nature is whether its animals, plants etc. And if you really want to take it home with you, snap a picture but not snap a picture at the expenses of the turtle, animal or nature. Why must duress be imposed against the animals? How would you feel if you were subjected to such treatment to have your picture taken?

The following are some pictures that I managed to retrieve and to prove its authenticity, I decided to print screen the pics as well with their url. Some pictures have thus been removed by the operators or their friends. Similarly some videos that were posted on their pages were removed but not before a concerned citizen reposted them on YouTube.
On the 52nd second, the guide is seen jumping onto the turtle to try to get a ride from the turtle that is obviously in fear and struggling to get away.
Note that a picture of them hanging on to the turtle under water is shown on the 
bottom left of their flyer. 
Many of such pics are found in their FB page...some were deleted as I write now.
These folks grabbed a black creature out of the sea onto their body.
Holding on to the turtle from under water
Is he trying to ride on the turtle as per the video?
He does not need to hold on to the turtle for the boat of people to see. They can just see the turtle swimming in its natural habitat.
Stopping the turtle from swimming away for a picture?
A group "molesting" the turtle together
Seen from a blog that "the 3 island kings" stopped the turtle by holding carefully to its rear legs. 
I seriously don't think there is such a thing when the turtle is in obvious distress of being manhandled.
What does she think she is doing? How can even a responsible guide or operator allow this. 
They must be real proud that their client was allowed to do this since they happily posted 
this picture on their FB page.
Now that you have seen them all, what are your thoughts? Stern action for now needs to be done including revoking the license of the said company and also where possible blacklisting its owners / shareholders.

THANX to Pamela an animal lover I am able to have some contacts to write to. And yes these are the folks to inform personally if you come across such distasteful acts. A copy of the Fisheries Law can be found here:- http://www.scribd.com/doc/102819792 . 

• Director General - Dr. Sukarno bin Wagiman - sukarno@nre.gov.my
• MATTA - admin@matta.org.my
• The tourism industry, a group that's read by the ENTIRE tourism industry of Malaysia - MalaysianTourismIndustryFriends@yahoogroups.com 
• Malaysian Tourist Guides Council - Ms.Diana Lee Geok Chin (Executive Secretary): mtgc@streamyx.com
• Malaysian Association of Hotels' Executive Secretary - Emmilda Mariko Bakden admin@hotels.org.my 
• Ministry of Tourism - Head of licensing division - Kudratullah Fatimy - fatimy@motour.gov.my 

How effective are the letters going to be...I don't know. But I am not sitting down complaining and not doing anything. The least I can do is to at least write a letter and speak up. Join me!

Full set of pictures found on my Facebook Missyblurkit: Snorkeling Gone Wrong
~.~

Seperti yang biasa, saya akan warm up setiap pagi dengan membaca blog dan Facebook updates rakan-rakan saya. Pagi ini saya amat marah dan terasa sedih melihat gambar-gambar yang Yoga terjumpa di Facebook. Ia amat menyedihkan melihat Snorkeling Guide memegang seekor penyu di laut. Ianya bukan gambar rescue tetapi memang orang ini sengaja menangkap penyu tersebut untuk tangkap gambar. Seterusnya, lebih gambar yang menunjukkan sekumpulan orang yang memegang penyu tersebut untuk bergambar. Tentu sekali penyu tersebut takut dan cuba melepaskan dirinya.

Pada mulanya saya fikir ia kemungkinan "one off" tetapi bila saya menyemak laman FB pengendali tour (Perhentian Setia Travel dan Tours Sdn Bhd). saya mendapati lebih lebih pics. Penyu, batu karang dan ikan tidak dikecualikan dari manhandling.
 Perhentian.Setia
• Perhentian Setia Travel And Tours Sdn Bhd


Blog ini tidak dikhususkan terhadap Perhentian Setia. Berikutan adalah gambar dari album Perhentian Setia dan juga blog-blog orang lain yang kemungkinan besar dari agensi lain.

Apabila kita meneroka alam semula jadi, kita boleh melihat aje. Tidak perlu untuk kita merosakkan keindahan ataupun mencederakannya. Kalau mahu, hanya tangkap gambar sahaja untuk memori. Tetapi janganlah sehingga binantang itu dicederakan ataupun ditakutkan. Dalam kes ini, penyu tidak biasa dengan manusia menyentuh ataupun memegangnya. 

Saya berterima kasih kepada rakan saya Pamela kerana memberikan beberapa kenalan untuk ditujukan surat komplain. Satu salinan Undang-undang Perikanan boleh didapati di sini untuk pemahaman kamu mengenia undang-undang perikanan (fisheries law) http://www.scribd.com/doc/102819792.
• Ketua Pengarah - Dr Sukarno bin Wagiman - sukarno@nre.gov.my
• MATTA - admin@matta.org.my
• Industri pelancongan, kumpulan itu dibaca oleh industri pelancongan SELURUH Malaysia - MalaysianTourismIndustryFriends@yahoogroups.com
Majlis • Panduan Pelancong Malaysia - Ms.Diana Lee Geok Chin (Setiausaha Eksekutif): mtgc@streamyx.com
• Persatuan Malaysia Setiausaha Eksekutif Hotel '- Emmilda Mariko Bakden admin@hotels.org.my
• Kementerian Pelancongan - Ketua bahagian pelesenan - Kudratullah Fatimy - fatimy@motour.gov.my

Saya tidak tahu betapa berkesannya surat komplain saya ini. Namun demikian saya tidak duduk berdiamdan tidak melakukan apa-apa. Sekurang-kurangnya yang boleh saya lakukan membuat satu aduan. Sertai saya!

Terdapat beberapa gambar yang saya berjaya dapat dari laman Facebook dan web. Untuk membuktikan kesahihannya, saya telah print screen untuk menunjukkan url gambar tersebut. Beberapa gambar itu telah dipadam (delete) oleh Perhentian Setia atau rakan-rakan mereka. Begitu juga beberapa video di laman Facebook mereka. Nasib baik ada seorang concerned citizen yang cukup pantas yang berjaya upload 3 video tersebut di YouTube.

Bagaiman perasaan kamu setelah melihat gambar-gambar dan video-video tersebut?

Terdapat lebih gambar di laman Facebook MissyblurkitSnorkeling Gone Wrong