December 2008 Archives

Diving the Red Sea


Because it is close to Europe the Red Sea attracts more dive boats than any other region of the world. The Red Sea's frequent encounters with thresher and hammerhead sharks and the beauty of its hard and soft corals help account for its popularity. However, if not managed well, too many divers and dive boats could ironically help destroy this beautiful dive destination. Every time a boat drops an anchor on a coral reef a large section of the reef is damaged. Multiply this by the large number of boats in the Red Sea every day and the potential for significant damage is great. However, by tying up to mooring buoys, boats no longer have to drop anchor.


To help preserve this beautiful marine environment a local ngo called HEPCA has installed the world's largest mooring buoy system. Nonetheless more mooring buoys were needed around five islands in the 494,100 acre marine reserve adjacent to Wadi El Gemal (Land of the Camel) National Park off the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea. Seacology, an international ngo with the sole purpose of preserving the environments of islands throughout the globe, provided the funding needed to help HEPCA install 25 mooring buoys in the Wadi El Gemal area.