Sharm el-Sheikh reopened to divers

by Alister POOLE on December 24, 2010

The ban on diving in Sharm el-Sheikh in the wake of numerous shark attacks off the coastline has been lifted.

Restrictions have been eased at the popular tourist spot on the Red Sea with the last attacks more than three weeks ago. However, the ban on snorkeling remains in place and divers have been warned to take extra precautions when enjoying the water.

Meanwhile, the Hurghada Environmental Protection Agency said that it found evidence of a shark cull near the region. The director of the organisation, Amr Ali, said that he saw at least 10 photographs of sharks that had been slaughtered by authorities.

The group added that it believed that it was an attempt to eliminate the shark population in the popular tourist hotspot. South Sinai’s deputy governor, Ahmed Saleh has denied the accusations, however, saying that the authorities had not killed sharks, but that some may have been caught and died after being in captivity.

Egypt’s government has worried that the numerous attacks, of which one was fatal, could harm the growing tourism industry in the country. Earlier in the month, photographs of two sharks that had been caught off the coast surfaced and authorities said that these sharks were believed responsible for mauling several people.

Mr Saleh said 23km of the famous coastline has now been deemed safe for water activities. He also said that further investigations into the shark activity were underway.

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