KOTA KINABALU: A British university graduate was crowned Miss Scuba International (MSI) 2018 after beating 21 other contestants in last night grand finale.
Representing the United Kingdom, Daisy Hope Whetlor, 21, is expected to perform a year of ambassadorial work in promoting marine conservation and diving industry globally.
She took over the marine ambassadorial role from MSI 2017 Britanny Anne Novick from the United States.
Daisy, who is an advanced open water and specialty diver, also won the subsidiary title of Miss Marine Conservation. The prestigious annual event was held at the Magellan Sutera Habour here for the eighth time.
During the presentation on marine conservation issue, the 175cm-tall knockout highlighted the dumping of debris into the ocean and plastic usage.
“Marine animals are killed due to the environmental impact. We are addicted to plastic and if the current trend continues, we will continue to have more plastics in the sea.
“However, positive action is on the rise and governments are starting to act. New education teaches us and government policies strive to slow the flow of pollution.
“For example, just last month the United Emirates of Arab has banned single use of plastics to fight against plastic pollution. We need to play our individual role in being aware of our own plastic consumption and disposal,” she said.
Meanwhile, Huang Yu-Wen, 27, of Chinese Taipei, secured first-runner up and Best National Costume subsidiary title, while Philippine’s Noelle Fuentes Uy-Tuazon, 26, came in third.
Other subsidiary titles went to Joahanna Acs of Germany (Miss Photogenic), Zofia Marta Majka of Australia (Miss Talented), and Christian Anaid Salas-Martos of Mexico (Miss Congeniality).
Earlier, MSI founder and executive chairman Robert Lo, in his speech, said plastic pollution is one of the major marine issues in the world.
“Marine resources are depleting and our environment is being placed under extreme stress. Millions of plastic debris are dumped into ocean but less than one per cent is returned for recycling.
“We need to take urgent action to reduce the flow of plastics into sea and create more ways to create greater awareness. MSI is one of the platforms to strive awareness. We hope to have more dynamic and outstanding women to be involved in marine conservation,” he said.
This year’s MSI also saw contestants from Belize, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Latvia, Macau, Malaysia, Netherland, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Thailand, and the United States.