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annual dinner celebrates cdWs achievements
The number of diving accidents recorded throughout the whole without an official Ministry of Tourism (MoT) licence. He also
of Egypt has dropped by nearly a third since the completion of the highlighted pressing conservation issues: this included a call for
first CDWS audits to ensure 298 diving centres and 127 safari boats a ban on commercial fishing in the Gulf of Aqaba to protect the
comply with ISO standards. CDWS chairman Hesham Gabr told environment as well as stronger measures to prevent illegal fishing.
delegates at the organisation’s annual dinner in Sharm el Sheikh on
2 December that the number of diving accidents had dropped 27
Tourism Minister Garana told delegates that the MOT would do
per cent in 2009 compared to previous figures.
everything in its legal power to stop all illegal operations working in
the diving and watersports sector.
The CDWS annual event, which was also attended by the Egyptian
Tourism Minister Mohamed Zoheir Garana, South Sinai Governor
South Sinai Governor General Metwally began his speech by
General Mohamed Hany Metwally and members of the Egyptian
underlining the Governorate’s commitment to ensure all its
media, also heard from the chairman about the need for a new
departments worked together to improve Egyptian tourism in all
international marina in Sharm el Sheikh. Mr Gabr said a new marina
was essential and had to be on a par with those in Europe to The head of the CDWS Technical Committee Zeyad ElBassel
increase the tourism potential within the diving and watersports highlighted current CDWS priorities, such as ensuring: all
industry. operations working in the diving and watersports sector complied
Outlining the achievements of the CDWS over the last year and
with international standards for service providers; the protection
discussing future aims, Mr Gabr said moves continued to stop illegal
of the marine environment; and the continued training of Egyptian
operations in the diving and watersports sector from operating
personnel working in the sector and increasing their technical skills
to meet with safety and service standards required.
Moorings for hurghada wreck
New dive boat moorings have been laid off the Red Sea resort of
Hurghada to protect the Hebat Allah, which was purposely sunk
as an artificial reef for divers in 2005. The 51m-long wreck lies at a
depth of between 15m and 45m near Abu Ramada Island.
The mooring project was carried out by the Hurghada Environment
Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA) together with
a diving team from dive centre Colona Divers and the Global
Underwater Explorers (GUE) Egypt in October this year. HEPCA said
it hoped the moorings would create safer diving conditions on the
wreck and prevent damage to its structure by eliminating the need
for dive boats to deploy their own lines.
The artificial reef has successfully attracted a variety of marine life in
the last five years.
‘[Hebat Allah] is a valuable marine research site, offering a unique the wreck and also the fact that it lies some distance away from an
opportunity to monitor reef growth at depths greater than 5m,’ established coral reef.’
HEPCA said. ‘An initial assessment of marine life and coral presence
Regular surveys of marine life at the site and the condition of the
was undertaken in October and recorded some extensive fish life,
Hebat Allah’s structure will continue to be carried out by HEPCA the
including groupers, lionfish, many schooling fish and also a turtle.
GUE Egypt and Colona Divers, as well as the maintenance of the
‘There were several coral species, including some hard corals, but new mooring system.
their current poor coverage is likely to be due to both the depth of
Issue 4 January - February ‘10
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