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Green Team
do good for
Educating guests about the environment
is a major focus of the centre, as well
as briefing divers on best practices for
encountering marine life.
‘They [dugongs] have been named Wahed, Etnen, Talata, Arba, ‘We are always working to increase the knowledge level of our
Ghamsa and Setta, which translates from Arabic as one, two, three, staff and are planning to profile our dive operation in Abu Dabab,
four, five and...yes, you’ve guessed it: six,’ says Anders Jalmsjo of Orca Hamata and Wadi Lahmy, offering marine life education through our
Dive Club. ‘Most of our diving guests show a great interest in marine instructors who are trained marine biologists’ says Jalmsjo.
biology and conservation, so there are plenty of eyes and ears around
to collect data, but, of course, the evaluations are made by trained
Educating staff will enable conservationists to make greater use
of the data collected by those diving these waters daily. HEPCA’s
managing director Amr Ali believes such collaboration with dive
Not only does the data collected include frequency of sightings, but centres proves that diving and the tourism industry show great
also detailed mapping information of where dugongs are found. This promise for the future.
data collection work is shared with researchers around the world.
‘This is not about money, about competition, or about being forced
Educating guests about the environment is a major focus of the to act by law,’ he said at the launch of the project. ‘Protecting the
centre, as well as briefing divers on best practices for encountering environment is everyone’s concern. This shows that the diving and
marine life. This has received a very positive response, particularly tourism industry has the potential to be self-regulatory here.’
since the project to protect the area’s dugongs began in 2007.
Preserving the important habitat will ultimately, according to Orca
Jalmsjo agrees: ‘Diving business depends on the marine environment.
Dive Club, enable many guests to enjoy unique encounters with this
Also the world would not survive if the eco-system in the oceans
rare species.
continues to be disturbed. We can’t afford not to get involved as
recreational divers, operators in the dive industry, or the human race.’
Orca Dive Club’s work for marine conservation, however, is not just
focused on the dugong. The Abu Dabab seagrass beds also support
various species of fish and serve as nurseries for the juveniles of many
marine species, including filefish, pufferfish, ghost pipefish, seahorses
and turtles.
Issue 4 January - February ‘10 15
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