In Photos: Egypt launches new diving sites to protect coral reefs in Hurghada

Ahram Online , Friday 4 Aug 2023

Egypt has launched three new diving sites off the coast of the Red Sea in the city of Hurghada to protect coral reefs and boost diving tourism, the Ministry of Environment announced on Thursday.

Old military vehicle on the way to the Red Sea bed on Thursday. Photo : Ministry of Environment


The sites, created by sinking old military equipment, are located at depths 30 to 50 metres off the coast of Hurghada.

Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad and Governor of Red Sea Amr Hanafy, along with environment ministers from five Arab countries (Jordan, Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan, and Yemen), attended the inauguration.

According to the ministry, the new sites aim to protect the natural coral reefs and promote diving tourism by creating an unforgettable experience that combines the allure of history with the beauty of the underwater world.

This initiative was carried out in collaboration with the armed forces, the Environment Ministry, the Tourism and Antiquities Ministry, and the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA).

The project implements a protocol signed between the Red Sea Governorate and the armed forces to submerge ancient military equipment and vehicles at various locations and secure them on the seabed.

Fouad stated that the coral reefs in the Red Sea are among the most resilient in the world and are capable of withstanding rising temperatures caused by climate change.

She noted that Egypt had declared these reefs protected before the COP27 climate conference held in November in the Red Sea city of Sharm El-Sheikh, adding that a clear plan was developed to protect these reefs from pollution and harmful practices.

The environment minister explained that constructing the new diving sites involved deliberately sinking 15 pieces of ancient military equipment in carefully chosen locations. Fouad added that it took seven years of meticulous planning and careful preparation to sink the ancient equipment without causing long-term harm to the ecosystem.

Egypt assumed the presidency of the 20th session of the Ministerial Council of the Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA) in a meeting held on Thursday in Hurghada.

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