Red Sea cleanup removes trash from beaches
Red Sea Islands Clean up Day - Photo Courtesy of HEPCA Official Facebook page
By DALIA FAROUK

CAIRO:  HEPCA, an environmental NGO focused on protecting the Red Sea, organized Monday a campaign to clean up four islands in the Red Sea, in the framework of the organization’s efforts to protect the environment there.

“Red Sea islands are not only spectacular sites with beautiful beaches that host dive sites exploding with life, but they also play a crucial role in the prosperity of marine and bird life,” the organization stated on its Facebook page.

They also said that many tourism operators throw waste into the sea, harming the environment and ecosystem greatly, despite that their income depends on the natural treasures in the area.

HEPCA added that these kinds of practices damage the reefs and threaten marine and bird life in the Red Sea.

The cleanup operation focused on the Islands of Magawish, Taweela, Abu Munqar and Giftun, according to the organization.

The governor of the Red Sea, Ahmed Abdullah, attended the cleanup and stressed the importance of keeping the islands clean and taking care of the ecosystem and marine life, according to several news reports Tuesday.

They organized many similar events including cleaning Marsa Nakari,  when they removed waste from sea and beaches, and also cleaned up Marsa Assalaia in January.

The organization also conducted underwater cleanup Marsa Alam, March 22, in celebration of Water World Day.

In early May the Ministry of Environment fined a poacher who had killed 286 endangered sea cucumbers.

The penalty was a fine of 1.2 million EGP, as well as confiscating his hunting boat, al-Masry al-Youm reported May 7.

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