A committee on the environment from the Region of Crete has just unanimously approved a project for the creation of Dive Park Ierapetra off the shores of Europe’s southernmost city.
The environmental impact assessment gives the green light for the creation of special artificial reefs and mooring points, three basic dive routes, and the placing of a sunken vessel as the basis for a new reef.
According to the news from neakriti, the new dive park for the municipality of Ierapetra will deliver significant benefits to the area, especially where the tourism product is concerned. The park, which is planned for an area offshore of Peristeras Beach, just east of Ierapetra, will be a 99.5 acre diving park about 3 kilometers offshore.
The designated area is not a protected zone, and the commission says the park will have a very small impact. There are no archaeological sites nearby, but the area is served by several holiday homes and at least one major resort hotel.
The area within the new dive park is made up of at least three types of marine habitats. Posidonia oceanica, a reef habitat, and a sandy seabed habitat are part of the overall plan. A multitude of diverse sea organisms calls this area of the Libyan Sea home. Interestingly, the area is now home to the invasive lionfish which have inundated some of the waters off Crete.
According to the news, floating moorings for boats, and several artificial concrete habitats will be created. There will be 3 main diving routes; one of a length of 400 m, one that is 650 m in length, and a final route 610 m long. There will also be a ban on fishing in the area of the new park. There will also be a plan put in place for the control of the lionfish population growth in this area of offshore Crete.