Why Mooring??

As the Red Sea has grown in popularity, so has the number of private and commercial boats using the waters. Sadly, one of the biggest threats to the preservation of coral reefs is physical damage caused by anchors. Destruction of the coral reefs is one of the significant negatives to the environment. Healthy reefs bring both jobs and food to the region and any deterioration to them severely impact the community. Sea tourism and sustainable fishing are cornerstones from which the Red Sea coastal communities flourish.

Physical damage to coral reefs from anchors is a well documented marine resource protection problem. When boats attach their anchors to a reef, the action of attachment and the pressure on the chains caused by swell underwater can rip reefs apart and destroy the delicate marine life. By far the most effective way to reduce damage is the installation of mooring buoys to anchor boats. 

Any area that receives boat traffic can benefit from mooring buoys, which can be integrated into a comprehensive resource protection management strategy. In addition to reducing anchor damage to living corals, buoys can act as an important management tool, and can also serve as a convenient way for skippers to secure their vessels while enjoying the unique coral reef communities. And this is the goal of the mooring system to protect the great long-lasting benefits we receive from the coral reefs not to destroy them by one blunt drop of an anchor.

A mooring buoy system consists of three elements: a permanent fixture on the sea bottom; a floating buoy on the water surface; and something in between to attach the two. Sea bottom characteristics usually dictate what type of system is most suitable. The Halas system is most effective in areas with flat, solid bedrock, whereas, the Manta Ray method is recommended for areas of sand, coral rubble, or a combination of bottom types. In certain areas, floating buoys may be connected to concrete blocks weighing 4.5 tons each.

Saving Red Sea Coral Reefs

Mooring systems significantly reduce the damage to the reefs by eliminating the need for anchoring. Since its foundation in the early 1990's HEPCA has been responsible for developing, installing and maintaining a boat mooring system to protect the fragile coral reefs of the Red Sea. A combination of private funding, donations, and initiatives have enabled HEPCA to raise the necessary finance for the mooring project.

HEPCA works in coordination with the EEAA to ensure correct usage of the buoys and to implement EEAA regulations as part of a comprehensive resource protection management strategy.

To date, HEPCA has installed over 1000 buoys throughout the Red Sea and has been instrumental to transfer the technology to neighboring countries including Djibouti, Jordan, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

The mooring project, as well, provides ongoing training to boat captains and their crews. Since 1998 more than 800 boat skippers have received best practice training in the proper use of buoys and additional environmental awareness. Buoys protect reefs, but only if we use them correctly. HEPCA’s major commitment is to keep the moorings afloat and functional and to continue to transfer the mooring technology whenever and wherever needed. 





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  • 887

    Total Buoys Installed

  • 8

    Zones Covered

  • 10

    Dive Sites Rescued

Mooring Locations

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