Breaking News

17 Sep2014



Last week we received a violation report by a concerned member of the diving community about two turtles in captivity at a fish restaurant. The two turtles were located and were found in very bad conditions in a small container, not allowing them any movement. One of the turtles was a Green Turtle , the other a Hawksbill Turtle. The green turtle suffered from several wounds on the front flippers, and the Hawksbill turtle was suffering from irregular ventilation. Both turtles were medically treated at Hepca's Marsa Alam office, and they were both named and tagged as following:Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas): Yassin EGY 00095-96Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata): Khadijah EGY00091-92 On the 11th they were both released in Marsa Ijlah, the green turtle was able to swim and feed immediately, while the Hawksbill was unable to dive to feed and kept floating, it was taken back to the office and treated for a respiratory infection, and after a day of rehabilitation at Marsa Nakari Ecolodge, on the 12th of October it was released at marsa nakari and was able to dive and feed. Due to the lake of environmental awareness, distorted images by media; often people don’t understand the dimension of keeping wild animals in captivity. Both turtles were purchased by the restauanrt owner for 700 EGP from a local fisherman, and he kept them for weeks in very bad conditions. Research has shown some negative effects of sea turtles that live in captivity. Many of them never reach their proper size. Often believed this is due to the area they are kept in not being large enough to allow them to do so. In captivity turtles would easily suffer from disease and bacteria that form in confined environment. This can weaken their immune systems and even kill them if the problem can’t be identified and resolved right away. The biggest concerns are developing skin and eye infections while in captivity. Hawksbill and green sea turtles are protected by Egyptian law and listed as Endangered (species faces a very high risk of extinction) internationally under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) The Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas): Yassin EGY 00095-96 was released in Marsa Ijlah on the 11th of October 2014. The Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata): Khadijah EGY00091-92 was released on the 12th of October at Marsa Nakari. Special thanks to Marsa Nakari Ecolodge for supporting the rehabilitation period and providing a wide tank for the Hawksbill turtle to recover in.

17 Sep2014


281 New Samadai Certified Guides in the Southern Red Sea

Within the month of August, Hepca conducted a series of Samadai Guides Training and Certification sessions are part of our "best practice guides" for the Red Sea region and aim to revitalize the Samadai experience as much more than just swimming with dolphins. These are all part of HEPCA's efforts to manage guest expectations, implement best practice guides for the region, and to unlock the true potential of this world-class tourism wonder. This is a necessary step towards exemplifying this destination's environmental performance and thereby ensuring our regions competitiveness on the world tourism market. Within the last month Hepca was able to train and certify over 280 Local Guide from different 38 operation in the southern Red Sea.

15 Sep2014


Thank You, Elba Rangers !

The rangers of Elba protectorate successfully arrested 4 saudis for hunting animals within the protectorate's limitis. After the arrest، the 4 individuals were identified from a photo they previously posted on social networks being the same group of hunters who previously hunted in Elba protectorate and were able to leave the first time without being caught. Charges for both incidents of illegal hunting were pressed against them and they face right now a penalty of 500 thousand Egyptian pounds and the confiscation of instruments and vehicles used in hunting. Hepca would love to thank the Elba protectorate rangers team for their success; Mr. Mohamed Gad Dr. Mosaad Sultan, Mr. Gama' Mohamed Ahmed, Mr. Othman Krija, Mr. Othman Mohamed, Mr. Mohamed Adem Fakih, Mr. Mohamed Taher, and Mr. Ibrahim El Hassan.

09 Sep2014


Rescue Mission Accomplished !

22 dolphins stranded in the shallow waters in Marsa Alam, Hepca & local community go to the rescue! We have some great news, on the 8th of September, Hepca team and the local community of Marsa Alam successfully rescued a family of 22 dolphins stranded in the shallow waters of a semi-closed lagoon in Marsa Allam and lead them into the deep blue. Three days before, a family of 22 individuals of Spinner Dolphin (stenella longirostris) have lost their way and ended up stranded in the shallow waters in one of the semi-closed lagoons at the Marsa Alam Harbor (25° 4'53.39"N 34°53'53.82"E) , unable to go back to the deep sea. These dolphins, according to Photo-identification analysis conducted by the Hepca research team throughout the years, have been observed several times in the past few years in Samadai and are considered residents of the area. The Hepca team, with the support of more than 30 concerned individuals from the local community with the support of the local boats ( King, Princess Maria, King1, Esther, Aqua Blue 2), started an operation to rescue the dolphins at 06:30 in the mooring with an assessment of location and health condition of the group and potential risks. The actual rescue operation started yesterday afternoon, around 13.30, and lasted for 9 hours, leading the 22 dolphins out of the semi-closed lagoon and into the deep blue. It was worth every effort, and we wanted to share with you the good news.

04 Jul2014


Clean-Ups June 2014

Marine debris remains to be one of the most crucial problems of the Red Sea, all the debris that finds its way to the water, or to the beaches present a real threat to marine life, and turtle nesting areas. That's why in Hepca we regularly organize clean up days in the different islands and beaches of the Red Sea. On Saturday the 21st of June, two clean ups were conducted, the first was underwater and beach clean-up at Marsa Asaliy with the helping hands of students of Anglia Ruskin University UK and Marsa Shagra¬タルs diving team. While in Marsa Abu Dabbab a group of students from Marsa Alam Primary school have collected huge quantities of plastic bags and plastic bottles from the Abu Dabbab Valley and enjoyed the rest of their day having snorkeling and swimming at the Abu Dabbab beach. HEPCA would like to thank the participants in both clean ups for their unstinting support. Hepca would like to thank Red Sea Diving Safari, Anglia Ruskin University UK and Blue Ocean Marsa Alam for their continuous support to preserve the red sea natural resources. And on World Environment Day, the 5th of June, Hepca organized a clean up in Wadi el Gimal Island. Wadi El Gimal Island with its stunningly clear waters and white beaches is considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Red Sea. The island fringed by coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangrove stands, and an extensive intertidal flat, is also a haven for dolphins, dugongs, marine turtles, and an array of seabirds. Wadi El Gimal Island is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International (IBA). Due to wave motion, wind and currents, a large amount of solid waste ends up on the island and represents a threat to the wildlife. On June the 5th, in occasion of World Environment Day, a group of volunteers has conducted a cleanup on the Island and collected a huge quantity of waste (mainly plastic bottles and bags). HEPCA would like to thank all the volunteers from Marsa Alam primary school and Roaya Association for their enthusiastic participation. We are very grateful to Wadi El Gemal Dive Centre and Shams Alam hotel Shams Diving Centers for providing all support needed to carry out the event.

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