Breaking News


26 Dec2013

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The Tragic sinking of Sea Queen

With great sorrow, HEPCA , the board of directors, the executive office and its mooring unit, sends the deepest condolences to the family and relatives of captain Said Doshma and his crew, who passed away with a tragic accident of the sinking of MV/Sea Queen. We hope that all the efforts are excreted to find the 2 remaining crew members would be successful to bring peace and serenity to their families. حدث غرق مركب "سى كوين" المأسوى: ببالغ الحزن و الأسى ، تنعى جمعية المحافظة على البيئة ( هيبكا ) – رئيس مجلس إدارة و الطاقم التنفيذى و وحدة الشمندورات – الريس سعيد دشمه و طاقم مركب ( سى كوين ) و الذين إستشهدوا فى حادث غرق المركب، و نتقدم بخالص العزاء لأسرته و لجميع العاملين فى قطاع الغوص، و ندعوا لهم بالمغفرة و لأسرته بالصبر و السلوان . و ندعوا الله أن تكلل جهود البحث عن أفراد الطاقم المفقودين حتى الأن بالنجاح حتى تجلب لذويهم الراحه و الطمأنينه.

21 Aug2013

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A special thanks to Safaga Dive Centers

HEPCA’s mooring team visited Safaga city from 13th to 19th of August, 2013, after receiving some news about the loss of many ropes and buoys . Upon hearing this news, the team of: Ayman Barsoum, Magdy Abdullah and Saad Mazrouk headed to Safaga. We would like to sincerely thank all the diving centers in Safaga: Nemo, Shams, Orca Safaga, Orca Souma Bay, Dune, Mena Dive, Parakuda and Ducks; for availing a daily boat which helped in finishing all the maintenance required for all mooring buoys systems. It is worth mentioning that our members’ support is one of the main reasons behind our success and development, without everyone’s effort we would never be able to accomplish this success. We truly thank every supporter and everyone who helped us with his money or time. The team covered the following areas and the maintenance and installation process varied between: ropes, locks and installing new systems in: Tobia 4, Abu Soma, Little Tobia, Big Tobia, Little Gamour, Big Gamour, Panorma, Al Hamra, Hamd Allah, Clud and Red Tobia. HEPCA is monitoring more than 1400 mooring buoys in the Red Sea and we are working hard to keep the system efficiently excellent. With the help of the community we can develop and keep this system to be the biggest and most important system all over the world. Accordingly, it is very helpful to increase the number of supporters and those who are keen on the natural resources to maintain such projects that preserve the environment like the mooring buoys. We would like to urge everyone to report the loss or damage of mooring buoys so we can repair it immediately and we call for the help of all people to work hand by hand for the sake of preserving the mooring systems hence preserving the coral reefs and the whole environmental systems. تحية خاصة لمراكز الغوص بسفاجا: قام فريق عمل وحدة الشمندورات بزيارة لمدينة سفاجا فى الفترة من 13 الى 19 اغسطس 2013 و ذلك بعد ان تلقت الجمعية بعض الاخبار من اعضاءنا بسفاجا عن فقدان العديد من حبال الرباط و العوامات و بالفعل توجه فريق الجمعية المكون من : ايمن برسوم – مجدى عبد الله – سعد مرزوق الى هناك .و تتوجه الجمعية بجزيل الشكر لكل مراكز الغوص بسفاجا : نيمو ، شمس ، اوركا سفاجا ، اوركا سوما باى ، ديون ، مينا ، باراكودا و داكس و الذين قاموا بتوفير مركب يومى لاجراء عملية صيانة كاملة لجميع الشمندورات و لا شك ان دعم اعضائنا هو احد اهم اسباب نجاح و تطور الجمعية ، و بدون المجهودات المبذولة من الجميع ما كانت الجمعية لتحقق كل هذه النجاحات ، و لذا نتوجه بالشكر لكل مؤيدينا و كل من يمد يد المساعدة بالوقت او الجهد . تم العمل بالمناطق التالية و تنوعت الصيانة و التركيبات ما بين تغيير حبال ، اقفال ، عوامات و كذا اضافة انظمة جديدة : توبيا 4 ، ابو سوما ، توبيا الصغير ، توبيا الكبير ، جمعور الصغير ، جمعور الكبير ، بانوراما ، الحمرة ، الشحر ، حمد الله ، كلود ، توبيا حمرا تراقب الجمعية اكثر من 1400 شمندورة فى البحر الاحمر ، و نسعى جاهدين للحفاظ على هذا النظام فى افضل صوره و حالاته ، و بمشاركة المجتمع المدنى نستطيع ان نحافظ و نطور هذا النظام ليظل اكبر الانظمة و اهمها على مستوى العالم و لذا فزيادة اعداد المهتمين و الحريصين على الموارد الطبيعية امر ضرورى للغاية لانتظام العمل فى منظومة الحفاظ على البيئة من خلال مشروعات هامة مثل انظمة الشمندورات . و نرجو من الجميع الابلاغ عن فقدان او تلف اى شمندورة حتى تستطيع الجمعية اتخاذ اللازم للصيانة الفورية ، و نحث جميع افراد المجتمع المدنى على العمل يد بيد من اجل الحفاظ على انظمة الشمندورات و من ثم على الشعاب المرجانية و النظم البيئية الحساسة.

16 Jun2013

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Code of Conduct for Dolphin Encounters

HEPCA would like to caution all the diving and snorkeling operators that the dolphin resting habitats Shaab el Erg and Shaab Fanous will be re-open again from June 16, 2013 for all tourism activities. In order to avoid all kind of dolphin harassment from irresponsible human activities, HEPCA produced a Code of Conduct for dolphin encounters that is now mandatory. Be aware that the non-respect of the code of conduct will be punished with a fine of 10,000 L.E. HEPCA will continue to monitor violations in collaboration with governmental agencies. These new regulations were spread to all the skippers and boat operators in the Hurghada area by the coastguard. Download the Code of Condact جمعية حماية البيئة هيبكا تحيطكم علما انه تم اعادة فتح منطقتى شعاب العرق و شعاب الفانوس الذى تعدان احد اهم موائل الدرافيل بالمنطقة الشمالية للبحر الاحمر ، و لتجنب الممارسات الغير مسئولة من ازعاج لهذه الكائنات البحرية و تهديد سلامتها و سلامة الزائرين قامت الجمعية باصدار دليل ارشادى يشمل كافة التعليمات التى يجب اتباعها عند مشاهدة او الاقتراب من الدرافيل . عدم الالتزام بهذه التعليمات سيغرم صاحبها مبلغ 10000 الاف جنيه . ستستمر مركب الدورية التابعة للجمعية بالاشتراك مع جهات حكومية فى مراقبة هذه المناطق. هذا و سوف يتم توزيع نسخة مطبوعة من هذا الدليل على كافة رؤساء المراكب و مشغليها من خلال مكتب حرس الحدود بالغردقة لتحميل الدليل

06 Jun2013

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We must act NOW to Save the Red Sea!

This article is a call to all the people who love and care about the Red Sea. We need you to help us get the word out so that we can put a stop to the destruction of our precious Red Sea. We can no longer afford to stand by and if the least you can do is share this article, then please do so. Reports have been coming to us from all across the Red Sea from concerned citizens that have had enough. Yesterday morning May 31, 2013, over 20 fishing boats invaded Ras Mohamad sweeping everything in their paths within one of the Red Sea's most famous national parks. One of our supporters managed to upload a video on YouTube which you can find her: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWwMBfXLMjc We demand that the ministries of agriculture as well as fisheries act now to stop this. Decisive and affirmative action must be taken immediately to prevent any further depletion of the Red Sea resources. We are calling on our supporters, press affiliates, environmental agencies, and governmental authorities to take action. Fisheries management has become the leading environmental issue threatening the Red Sea. Reports of illegal fishing practices and the hunting of endangered species are becoming a daily occurrence all across the Red Sea. We are also seeing more instances of poaching of endangered species like sharks and turtles. Last week we received disturbing stories from one of our supporters in Oman of shark fishing happening on a daily basis. A courageous dive guide working in the region sent us shocking photos of the activity and is concerned that this is taking place all over the region. In the southern Red Sea, HEPCA has been receiving disturbing reports about continued violations and irresponsible behavior at Marsa Abu Dabbab. Our patrol team recently witnessed a live-aboard operator entering the bay and anchoring directly on live coral. Our supporters have stated that dozens of boats are doing the same and wrecking havoc on one of the southern Red Sea's most precious habitats. We are getting recurring reports of harassment of the turtles and dugongs that call this bay home. These precious resources are part of our Egyptian heritage and will ensure our livelihood and that of our families for generations to come. These species must be protected because of the fact that they generate a significant amount of money to the economy through tourism revenue. They are also an integral part of the Red Sea’s unique and world-class bio-diversity. The hunting or molesting of such animals is not only illegal; it represents the height of irresponsibility. If we don’t act now, all the conservation efforts that we have exerted over the past 22 years will have gone to waste. We must show zero tolerance for environmental violations and are counting on you to report any violations to us immediately. Over the coming days HEPCA, will be initiating our biggest campaign ever to set a new precedence for the protection of the Red Sea. We are asking all of our supporters to make their voices heard and spread the word to as many people as you can. Time is running out for the precious Red Sea an our window of opportunity to make the difference is now. علينا سرعة التحرك لانقاذ البحر الاحمر هذا المقال موجه الى كل محبى البحر الاحمر و الحريصين عليه ، نحتاج اليكم لنشر كلمتنا للتصدى لاعمال التخريب التى تتم فى بحر الاحمر ، لا يمكن الانتظار اكثر من هذا و اذا كانت مشاركتك لا تتعدى نشر هذا المقال فرجاءا : افعل تتوالى التقارير من العديد من المواطنين بالبحر الاحمر الذين اكتفوا بما يحدث لبيئة البحر الاحمر ، شهد يوم 31 مايو 2013 اجتياح لمحمية راس محمد من قبل الصيادين ، قاموا بتجريد خط سيرهم داخل المحمية من جميع الكائنات فى احد اهم و اشهر المحميات الطبيعية بالبحر الاحمر ، و نجح احد مساندينا فى نشر هذا الفيديو و الذى يظهر عملية الاجتياح http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWwMBfXLMjc و نطالب وزير الزراعة و هيئة الثروة السمكية بالتدخل الفورى لايقاف هذه المهزلة، قرارت فورية و حاسمة يجب ان تتخذ و تطبق لوقف هذا النزيف الحادث لموارد البحر الاحمر ، و نناشد الجميع من المساندين ، الصحافة ، الهيئات العاملة بمجال البيئة و الجهات الحكومية المعنية بسرعة التدخل لتنظيم عمليات الصيد اصبح احد اهم اوليات الحفاظ على البيئة ، و الصيد الجائر يهدد البحر الاحمر . تقارير عن عميلات صيد جائرة ، صيد كائنات بحرية مهددة بالانقراض تتوالى يوميا ، اصرار على ذبح كائنات مهددة مثل اسماك القرش و السلاحف البحرية لم يسبق له مثيل فى الاسبوع الماضى تلقينا اخبار مزعجة عن عمليات صيد القروش بدولة عمان و التى تتم يوميا ، احد مرشدى الغوص المهتمين بالبيئة و مدركين لخطورة ما يحدث ارسل الينا العديد من الصور المفجعة و التى توضح فداحة الامر تتلقى الجمعية العديد من التقارير الخطيرة عن المخالفات البيئية الجسيمة و اللا مسئولة بمرسى ابو دباب بجنوب البحر الاحمر المصرى ،. و قد رأى فريق دورية الجمعية مؤخرا احد مراكب السفارى يستخدم الهلب مباشرة على الشعاب المرجانية الحية ، و قد اخطرنا مساندينا ان هذا الامر يتكرر يوميا فى الجنوب مؤديا الى تدمير اجمل الموائل بجنوب البحر الاحمر . هذا بالاضافة الى البلاغات الخاصة بازعاج السلاحف البحرية و الدجونج و التى تعتبر هذه المنطقة موطنا لها هذه الثروات الطبيعية جزء من التراث الطبيعى المصرى و الذى يرتطب مباشرة بمستوى معيشة ملايين الاسر ، هذه الكائنات يجب حمايتها فى تمثل دخل قومى يعتمد عليه العاملين بقطاع السياحة و ما يمثله هذا القطاع من اهمية للدخل القومى المصرى. بالاضافة الى اهميتهم لبيئة البحر الاحمر و تنوعه البيولوجى المهدد ، صيد او الاعتداء على هذه الحيوانات البحرية لا يمثل فقط مخالفة للقوانين بل اقصى حدود اللامسئولية و غياب الضمير اذا لم نتحرك الان ، فستذهب جهود الجمعية فى الحفاظ على البيئة على مدار 22 عاما الماضية ادارج الرياح ، لن نحتمل هذه المخالفات و ستؤخذ كل الاجراءات الممكنة لمنعها و معاقبة مرتكبيها و نعتمد عليكم للابلاغ الفورى عن هذه المخالفات . و ستشن الجمعية حملة كبرى خلال الايام القادمة لتكون الاولوية الان لحماية البحر الاحمر . نناشدكم نشر الرسالة لكل من يهمه الامر ، ان الوقت ينفذ و علينا استغلال اى فرصة لاحداث فرق من اجل حماية البحر الاحمر

05 Jun2013

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Samadai Under New Management

Samadai, also known as "Dolphin house" is considered one of the world's leading dolphin retreats. This strategic and precious dolphin sanctuary will be coming under new management as of 2013. General Mohamed Kamel, Governor of the Red Sea, has issued a new decree handing over management of Samadai to HEPCA. The Samadai management plan has been one of our community's most important achievements towards protecting the dolphins of the Red Sea. This initiative was the first time that civil society, the government, and the tourism sector set aside their differences to protect one of our countries most valuable resources. This model will always stand as a testament of our community's ability to mobilize in protection of our environment and natural resources. The story of Samadai began in 2004, when various community members started sharing disturbing reports of unsustainable practices and harassment of dolphins taking place at the site. Immediate action had to be taken and our community rallied behind a massive campaign, which brought the Samadai issues to the spotlight. As a result of our mobilization, Red Sea Governor Sayed Abu Rida issued a decree in 2004 protecting this site and regulating all tourism activities. The declaration designated Samadai as a protected area and a management plan was subsequently implemented. Although Samadai was beyond the border of the protected areas; the main reason behind the declaration was the protection of the resident spinner dolphins, which were under great threat. The management plan separated the dolphin habitat into a zoning system and access to the site was limited to 200 visitors per day. A visitor's fee was also set to limit accessibility and these revenues were allocated towards supporting national park services, as well as mooring installation and maintenance by HEPCA. A monitoring program was also established to collect data on the impacts these visitations are having on the dolphins and their habitat. In the 9 years since the Samadai management plan was first started; it's become apparent that the site has been poorly managed. HEPCA has received numerous complaints and reports from dive centers about irresponsible practices still taking place. The demand for this strategic site has been in decline due to lack of vision and visitor engagement. Crucial information about this unique site and the resident dolphins has not been provided. Educational media and awareness raising tools have been lacking and the monitoring program was not sustained. Many visitors have expressed dissatisfaction with the experience due to the lack of information or presence of qualified personal. This is unacceptable for a site with so much potential for revenue generation, job creation, and our reputation as an environmentally sustainable and responsible tourism destination. With this new decree, HEPCA will take full charge of managing this important resource in collaboration with our partners. To commemorate this new initiative, HEPCA will be offering free excursions to Samadai for school children and local residents every Friday. HEPCA will be carrying out a multi-faceted campaign over the coming weeks, which aims to invoke a new sense of community ownership over this precious site and its resident spinner dolphins. Raising awareness and providing educational media will be our most important target in the initial phase. Providing factual information and managing visitor's expectations is how our members can help. HEPCA has provided a comprehensive guide for dive and tour guides, which can be downloaded here for free. Most of our members have already received this booklet and participated in our Samadai workshop last year. Building on these plans will be a free certification program provided for dive and tour guides. This 8 hour course will be in order to assure a quality experience for every visitor and implementation of best practices in the area. Dedicated personal and dolphin specialists will be on-site to engage visitors and provide information. Educational pamphlets will be provided and HEPCA will also be creating a new web-site with additional information and valuable resources. Streaming live web-cam including underwater streaming video will also be broadcast on the web-site. A hydrophone will also broadcast through radio transmission allowing any boat radio to tune into the frequency and hear the dolphins. Our fully equipped floating classroom "the bio-boat," will also be deployed at the site providing hands on interactive learning for students and visitors alike. HEPCA will continue building on scientific research such as "The Red Sea Dolphin Project," in order for us to make informed decisions about the future management of the Samadai National Park. A monitoring program will be re-established to ensure that decisions we are taking are based on robust science. HEPCA's vision is to build on the current Samadai management framework, with a new dimension that will give added value to this tourist attraction. Our aim is to enhance the experience of this amazing site, thereby increasing income and reinvesting it back into environmental conservation. Samadai needs to be revitalized as an experience that goes much beyond just swimming with dolphins. A new vision and management approach will allow us to provide a much more memorable and fulfilling experience. Most importantly, this campaign is about our community finally having the opportunity to express a new ownership over the management of a very important national resource. HEPCA is once again calling on the Red Sea community to re-ignite the momentum that first brought the Samadai initiative to news headlines in 2005. We are asking all of our members, as well as the beneficiaries and the users of this unique site to support and help us in achieving these objectives. The Samadai management plan was created for the purpose of protecting this unique dolphin habitat and we will not waiver from this mission.

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