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BLUE News
Volunteer divers from dive centres
across the Sinai resort of Dahab
successfully removed 86 tyres
near to the popular dive site of Eel
Garden. Organised by Dahab-based
conservationists, the tyre clean-up
took a day to complete.
The divers surveyed the site in the
four weeks prior to the 3 August
clean-up. Coral growth on three
tyres was removed and relocated in
a suitable and safe area.
Tyres have been used as foundations
for artificial reefs in some parts of
the world; however, studies have
shown that unless an artificial reef
is properly planned and managed
it can become more of a pollutant
than a benefit for marine life.
Mass of tyres removed
The team said the tyres, which
ranged from bike to tractor tyres,
had been dumped by unknown
persons near Eel Garden with no
plan in place to create an artificial
reef.
‘Tyres were all placed in rows to
allow for easy extraction,’ said Dahab
diver and conservationist Jonty
Laycock. ‘Two divers went into the
water and placed a buoy line in the
vicinity of the tyres. With the loaned
use of a dive boat from Sinai Divers,
14 volunteers, two camera men and
boat crew moored next to the buoy
line approximately 40m off the Eel
Garden Reef.’
The South Sinai Marine Protectorate
supplied permits, support,
transportation and also arranged the
disposal of the tyres.
Dive centres that took part in the
clean-up included Sinai Divers,
Fantasea, Fantaseatec, Blue Realm,
Club Red, Orca Dive Club and Dahab
Divers.
Photos: Rich Carey
European shark petition BleachWatch appeal
The Shark Alliance is Red Sea based
appealing for everyone environmental group
across the world to sign HEPCA (Hurghada
its Shark Plan petition Environmental
calling for the EU shark Protection Conservation
finning ban to be Association) is appealing for divers to take part in new coral watch
strengthened. Fishing initiative, supported by the International Union for Conservation
in the Mediterranean of Nature (IUCN) and Kuoni Travel. As part of BleachWatch Egypt,
has seen the greater regular dive visitors will be able to take short informal training in
destruction of shark order to report on the health of the reefs.
species than in any
HEPCA said: ‘The training will give you insight into marine and
Photo: Karin Brussaard
parts of the world.
coral ecology and will be an invaluable way to contribute and
The petition is launched each year to coincide with European support the health of your favourite dive sites.’
Shark Week, held in 2009 between 10 and 18 October. Signatures
The group is also looking for volunteers in the diving industry
will continue to be collected following this week.
throughout Egypt to be trained to teach the BleachWatch training
To find out what you or your business can do to participate, see to other divers.
the website www.europeansharkweek.org.
www.hepca.com
12 www.cdws.travel
Issue 3 October / November 2009
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