Tag Archives: Red sea

Egypt must go green to save Red Sea

17 Oct

The Red Sea’s ecosystem is under threat from pollution and Egyptians refusing to accept there is an environmental problem

Coral reefs in the Red Sea north of Jeddah Coral reefs in the Red Sea are under threat from oil spills and plastic waste. Photograph: Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images

The Red Sea is facing a crisis that could see much of its wonderful marine life cease to exist. Continued polluting of the water, constant oil spillage from offshore rigs and a lack of awareness in Egypt and around the region about the importance of maintaining vital ecosystems all contribute to the threat.

A few travellers passing through Cairo earlier this month sent me an email describing their disappointment at the diving they experienced off Egypt’s top resort, Sharm el-Sheikh. What they saw was “completely a different scene” from their first visit in 2004. “The coral was turning grey and dying,” they said.

Over and over I have heard stories from divers about the decaying state of the Red Sea’s coral reefs. It is unfortunate, but true. No longer is the Red Sea a pristine location to witness the spectacle of marine life and coral reefs. One of the main causes is the constant pouring of waste from hotels along the coastal areas, but the tourism industry more generally has done further harm by pumping chemicals and other waste products into the sea. Resolving these problems is proving extremely difficult.

Not only are coral reefs under threat, but other marine life, too. Offshore oil rigs have been in the Red Sea waters for decades, but little has been done to ensure the equipment is up to date. These rigs stream a constant pool of oil into the sea. Ahmed el-Droubi of the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Agency (Hepca) told me earlier this year that much of the dolphin population has migrated further and further south as a result.

read whole article at the Guardian.co.uk

Arwa Aburawa Dead Poisoned Fish Found in Red Sea

14 Oct

Green Prophet has closely followed the undersea disasters unfolding in the region such as the Red Sea oil spill, the impact of noise pollution as well as the absence of life forms in Lebanon’s seas.

Now, lab tests have confirmed that dead fish discovered in Jordan’s Gulf of Aqaba this September were in fact poisoned by chemical substances. In early September, teams from the Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan (JREDS) discovered several dead fish floating in the Gulf of Aqaba. Samples were collected to identify cause of death and these indicated that chemical substances dumped in the gulf had proved fatal to the fish.

According to reports in the Jordan Times, JREDS Executive Director Fadi Sharaiha believed that the fish poisoning occurred after illegal dumping of toxic substances into the sea. He also stated that the dead fish could have resulted from a failed attempt by a fisherman to sedate the fish. This is the second case of its kind this year.