KOTA KINABALU: A divers’ association has lodged a police report over a video in which scuba divers had allegedly used spearguns to hunt fish in Sabah’s east coast Semporna district.

The Semporna Professional Diving Association, led by its president Suzimin Edris lodged a report at the Semporna police station on Friday (June 7).

Suzimin believed the incident had taken place off Mabul island.

“Spearfishing is unlawful and poses a serious safety risk to other divers as well as the marine ecosystem besides damaging the tourism industry’s reputation in Semporna,” he said, when contacted on Saturday (June 8).

“The video has spread widely on TikTok and other social media platforms.

“We are urging the authorities to undertake a detailed investigation to identify those involved and take the appropriate action under the law,” he added.

The 25-second clip showed divers shooting fish using spearguns near the seabed and in coral reefs.

In another moment, a diver could also be seen petting a turtle before knocking the head of the animal.

The state Wildlife and Fisheries Departments said they were investigating the video.

Towards this end, Suzimin urged enforcement authorities to step up efforts to curb spearfishing activities in future.

“We hope the wildlife and fisheries departments as well as the tourism authorities will take note of the incident to avoid a recurrence,” he said.

Sabah fisheries director Azhar Kassim said those found using spearguns could be prosecuted under Section 44(2) of the Fisheries Act 1985.

If found guilty, he said, offenders were liable to a fine up to RM20,000 or a maximum of two years’ jail, or both.