Home Environment A brief history of HEPCA in the Red Sea

A brief history of HEPCA in the Red Sea


By: Chris Wood


The Red Sea is home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world with many endemic species living on them, (meaning they are only found in the Red Sea).

There are many pressures upon this great natural resource including tourism and associated activities such as coastal development and the local fishing industry.

HEPCA is a recognised NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) which was established by concerned members of the scuba diving community in Hurghada during 1992 and officially registered with the Red Sea Governorate in 1995. HEPCA's goals are to protect the natural resources of the Red Sea through encouraging sustainable management of tourism and local industry and provision of environmental education for all.

The growth in tourism, in particular diving tourism, has meant that Hurghada has grown from a small fishing village into a popular tourist destination and it now spans over 25 kilometres of coastline. Coastal development has destroyed many of the fringing coral reefs, with reclamation for hotel development and dust from coastal building sites smothering the reefs. In addition, development is not currently supported by sufficient infrastructure, for example waste management, which leads to problems with pollution and increased health risks. There are already moves to address these problems being undertaken by a number of organisations.

Hurghada is visited by thousands of tourists each year, the majority of whom make use of the many charter boats available in the area for scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing. In order to stop charter boats anchoring on coral reefs and destroying this fabulous resource, studies were undertaken to assess the carrying capacity of the reefs for divers and snorkellers. The results of these studies were the installation of the suggested number of moorings for each reef.

HEPCA has already installed and is committed to maintain over 270 moorings in Hurghada alone. HEPCA has also installed and is maintaining moorings in Safaga and further afield in the northern and southern Egyptian Red Sea, totalling over 600. The majority of funding for this programme currently comes from His Excellency the Governor of the Red Sea and the fees paid by its valued members.

HEPCA is always looking for new supporters and members so if you are willing to contribute to this valuable work please contact the office for more details.

 


REMEMBER THE CORAL CODE
• Do not touch, break or remove any corals or shells - be careful with your fins and when taking photographs.
• Do not harass marine life - you are in their home.
• Fishing and spearfishing are prohibited in Protected Areas.
• Fish feeding is prohibited because it upsets the biological balance on the reef and can kill marine creatures.
• Do not throw litter into the sea (for example cigarette ends, plastic bags, toilet paper) because it causes pollution and kills the reef - leave only ripples.
•Do enjoy the beautiful scenery and wildlife.



 

Read More in H2O


perret-h2omag-nb1.jpg
Why are so many divers mad about these minuscule creatures? Why are they so often models for photographers with a passion for macro pictures?
sigma.jpg
Special for the SIGMA SD14 was conceived the new housing Lut. The advantages of the Foveon X3 Sensores can be used with it also under water. All
padi-0.jpg
September 17th is the 20th Anniversary of International Cleanup Day. Once again, SCUBA divers around the world will join in and contribute to make
Banner

Coming Issue

 

Next edition in English

    next English issue will be available in March  ...

Calendar of events

April 2019 May 2019
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30
Post Your Event Post Your Event

More Articles

A LEGEND IS BACK IN TOWN "THE MISTRAL"

Older divers will remember the nostalgic days of the original twin house regulator and anybody who used to watch the Jacques Cousteau Saga’s on television will be familiar with it. The good...
Read More...

Look But Leave

Few are the people who know that regardless of what type they are, shells serve the same purpose all around the world: they clean out impurities and make the water cleaner. In this sense we can say ...
Read More...

BEAUTIFUL SIWA

The distance from the tollgates on the Giza Desert Highway to Siwa Oasis is 749 km, usually traversed in approximately eight hours. It is worth noting that the black road (asphalt) that lies between M...
Read More...

Red Sea Dive Sites - Abu Hashish

Abu Hashish sounds like it has something to do with drugs and some people say that this reef got its name from the contraband cargo of a boat that once hit it. Others say that hashish also means se...
Read More...

A coral banquet: Nocturnal feeding

Who can say that they have ever observed stony corals getting in a sort of "hunting fever?" The role of corals as an important predator in the reef is mostly unknown. Food acquisition at night remains...
Read More...

H2O Newsletter


Get diving news, trends, and business information delivered directly to your inbox!

Advertisement

Banner