Sabah to host inaugural Adex Ocean Partnership Summit in August


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will play host to the inaugural Adex Ocean Partnership Summit to be held from Aug 18-20 at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) here.

Organised in partnership with Sabah Tourism Board (STB), the summit will feature global experts and trailblazers to discuss and explore diving disciplines, ocean conservation and sustainability issues, while offering a platform to connect and network with industry peers and the wider hospitality, conservation and education arenas.

The event succeeded the Asia Dive Expo (Adex) - the longest-running and largest dive show in Asia - which took place in Singapore earlier from March 31 to April 2 this year.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew said the event would be a great opportunity for stakeholders of both government and the private sector to participate and gain knowledge on marine efforts in tandem with growing a sustainable niche in tourism and the diving industry.

She said this during a press conference to announce the event on Friday (June 30).

“With the collaboration between Adex and STB, we hope to elevate Sabah’s reputation as a premier diving destination and further develop the diving industry and tourism sector here in Sabah,” she said.

With diving as one of the top activities to do in this state, conservation efforts are important to preserve marine life and the underwater ecosystem, Liew added.

She said 137,749 visitors to dive sites around Sabah were recorded in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, which was an increase from 133,921 visitors the year before and 90,318 in 2017.

Meanwhile, Adex in a statement released during the press conference said a new type of “ocean hero” will emerge to seek and remove discarded, lost and abandoned fishing nets in the water in conjunction with the summit.

A programme has been lined out on Aug 20 for Adex ambassador for Ghost Net Hunter, Hidy Yu, and Guinness World Record Holder and swimmer Ben Lecomte to spend 23 hours in the waters around the coastal facing SICC venue to collect ghost nets with specialised equipment, so they can be removed without causing further damage to the marine ecosystem.

The Mermaid industry will also be highlighted in conjunction with the summit, where mermaid enthusiasts worldwide are expected to convene for the Adex Sabah Mermaid Competition 2023 taking place at the venue where participants are to showcase their talents, including performing in a tank.

The public can visit www.adex.asia for more information on the Adex Ocean Partnership Summit.

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