Egypt’s coral reefs are fragile organisims, vulnerable even to wave motion and excessive sunlight, as well as accidental damage from tourists. Dive boats that come too close and divers who break or disturb corals have resulted in many sites near Sharm el-Sheikh being “over-dived”, while other reefs have been damaged or destroyed by tourism-related work. For divers and snorkellers alike, the fundamental rule is to look but not touch. In marine parks such as Ras Mohammed, it’s also forbidden to feed the fish or remove anything from the sea. And don’t buy aquatic souvenirs – their export is illegal. Even shells from the beach may be confiscated when you leave Egypt, with a hefty fine given in return.

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