JREDS has chosen to work on underwater site because it’s a new idea and this is the core of our work. In addition to that, this site still lacks a comprehensive management plan, besides its importance for the tourism and dive industry. Visitor numbers are still continuously growing, and a study estimating the impact of tourism on the site and a concept to preserve this site for future generations is needed. Our goal is to promote the Shipwreck as a well-kept diving site with rich biodiversity and a unique history. The main activities within HELAND project are as the following:
- Survey the biodiversity of the coral reef ecosystem.
- Gathering key ecosystem information used in addressing causes of coral reef decline.
- Creating a large network of trained observers.
- Classification of corals at different sites, either by photography or by microscopic examination of samples.
- Carrying underwater intercept transects to estimate cover percentage of corals.
- Carry out mapping for existing coral reefs at the Gulf of Aqaba.
- Gathering data on the shore fish community for assessing their status.
- Facilitate the production of the updated marine environment monitoring system and adopt the existing system.
Launched in 1964 at the S.A. Juliana Constructora in Gijon , Spain as the “MONE DOS” this 74m long general cargo vessel of 1,161 tons served the Naviera Anzar Shipping Company of Bilboa, until 1969 when she became the “PUERTO DE PASAJES”, with a further name change in 1978 to the “ST. BRUNO” . She was then purchased by the Lebanese Cedar Pride shipping company, taking on the company name, her 4th and last.
In July of 1982 she arrived at the Jordanian port of Aqaba, and on the 2nd August while at anchor a fire started and spread rapidly through her engine room and the crews accommodation area. Sadly, two crew members died in the blaze. The fire damage left the Cedar Pride as a write off, although her hull was still intact and she was still afloat.
The ship wreck “Cedar Pride” was drowned by his majesty King Abdulla II in the 1985. As the first artificial dive site in Aqaba. Since that, the site hosted several species of corals and fishes which added to its ecological and natural values, but after the rapid development at Aqaba and increase the number of dive centers. The site was exposed to heavy visitation rate. The benthic habitat includes coral reefs, sea grass and sandy areas, thus presenting the habitats of the gulf of Aqaba.
- On August 4th, 2014
The campaign brings together Royal Jordanian Marine Sports Federation, Aqaba Diving Association, Aqaba Dive Clean Up National Team and Department of Tourism for organizing the cleanup campaign in addition to a wide variety of other stakeholders including community groups, schools, government, and individuals in a range of cleanup activities and programs that positively improve local environments, enhance sustainable tourism and raise knowledge and awareness on the sensitive diving sites and means of conserving them.read more
The Gulf of Aqaba is separated from the Red Sea by the edges of the Strait of Tiran. The coastline of the Gulf of Aqaba extends for 27Km along narrow and very deep arm of the Red Sea with an average width of 20 Km reaching a maximum of 26Km. The average depth is about 800m reaching more than 1850m in its deepest areas. Over a length of 13Km, a discontinuous series of fringing coral reefs and reef flats are present with 150m wide.
The rapid development in Aqaba after the establishment of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) increased the pressures on the rich, but limited, coastal resources of the Jordanian part of the Gulf of Aqaba. This has led the government of Jordan, through the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, to establish Aqaba Marine Park (AMP) as a marine protected area where the Cedar pride is located within.
The Cedar Pride is considered one of the most popular diving sites in Aqaba, in front of the visitor center. Despite heavy diving attempts on the Cedar Pride site but also its shores are under heavy use of visitors for picnicking, snorkelers and glass boats activities.
These activities increased the pressures on the natural and cultural values of the Cedar pride which highlighted the need of conserving the site and monitoring its status.