New Entry Marker System
The coast of Dahab consists of fringing reef very close to the shore. This easy accessibility helps to make Dahab such a popular diving and snorkelling destination, but also means the reef is under heavy pressure on a daily basis, particularly at access points from the shore.
The reef table is a vital part of any coral reef ecosystem, providing an important habitat for juvenile fish and sea grasses. Trampling of the reef table goes largely overlooked, whether through genuine ignorance or sheer carelessness. Sacrificial pathways are one method of tackling this situation, as are floating and fixed jettys.
Marked pathways have been used successfully at sites such as Eel Garden and Islands, where a system of floating lines indicated the entry and exit.
They guided reef users along a narrow strip of the reef table, which discouraged wandering elsewhere. Sadly, these markers have now been lost, to the detriment of the reef.
There is a plan to replace them with a series of marker buoys. Instead of lines, several buoys will be placed at equal distances leading the way to the entrance. The buoys will be chained to the reef so they should resist rough sea conditions and fishermen trying to steal them. They will then be joined together with rope. This can also act as a safety line if divers are caught in strong currents as they attempt to exit.
The SSDM has designed the new system and provided all the materials. Volunteer Rangers are working in co-operation with them. We will be ready to start the installation work later this week. We will start at Eel Garden and move on to Islands at a later date. We will need some extra hands on the day to get the work done. If you can spare a little time one day this week, please let us know which day would be best for you.
Phone: Jessica on 010 6361744, Jenny on 012 1233196 or Bert on 012 1233175