The closure followed a series of non-fatal incidents involving scuba divers and oceanic whitetip sharks at the Brothers.
Now the CDWS has stated that changes in the sharks’ behaviour appeared to have arisen from “dumping either solid or liquid or organic waste and [the] practice of nutrition and fishing activities in the sea”.
“Nutrition” appears to refer to baiting, either specifically to attract sharks for divers or while fishing.
During the closure period the CDWS has consulted shark experts and carried out field trips to the area with representatives from HEPCA (Hurghada Environmental Protection & Conservation Association) and the Ministry of the Environment.
The joint conclusion was that lack of awareness among boat-crews, including galley staff, about best practice in preserving the marine environment required corrective action, both through training and regulation of their working practices.
The 3.5-hour awareness courses will be held in Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada during February, and any crew-member failing to attend or complete the course will be denied the CDWS permits required to work on the liveaboards.
The vessels themselves will not be allowed to operate before they have been cleared as complying with the new requirements, and will not be able to hire new staff unless they have undergone the awareness training.