MARANG, Oct 23 — The Terengganu government plans to introduce a special permit for scuba divers at the shipwreck location of Pulau Kapas near here.
State tourism, environment and climate change committee chairman Datuk Razali Idris said the introduction of the permit was to monitor activities of divers as well as preserve artifacts of historical value at the location.
Razali said it was also proposed to introduce a new standard operating procedure (SOP) to prevent the theft of artifacts from the island.
“We may issue a special permit like Pulau Bidong. We don’t want to trouble tourists, but we want to protect the importance of artifacts in our waters.
“We will include a simple SOP that will not trouble anyone and also we do not want to charge anything. We just want to protect the artifacts from being stolen,” he said after visiting the shipwreck site at Pulau Kapas today.
In the meantime, Razali said the state also plans to create a Maritime Archeology Gallery next year to add value to the state’s tourism sector.
According to him, the gallery will house various shipwreck artifacts found at three locations in the state, namely Pulau Bidong, Pulau Kapas and Pulau Tenggol.
“This initiative is to preserve the historical heritage that exists on the seabed of Terengganu waters to attract tourists, especially enthusiasts of maritime history and underwater archeology from all over the world.
“The location proposed is at Taman Tamadun Islam (TTI) because of its strategic position and which is also known as Terengganu’s main tourist attraction,” he said. — Bernama