20 September 2011

Save Mirbat Beach!!

World-class beach! A good place to build a navy dock?!
Rumours have been swirling for some time now, and I have also heard it directly from a reliable source who has personally seen the plans, that a navy dock is to be built at the beach at Mirbat.  This information horrifies me and I truly hope that it is false, but I fear that it is not.  Such a development would be catastrophic in this area.  The beaches around Mirbat are truly unspoiled (something that is very difficult to find anywhere in the world anymore) and the bays are home to an incredible diversity of marine life.  Military development at this site would completely destroy it and put the entire area out of bounds to both locals and visitors alike.  This is an area popular with local fishermen as well as visiting snorkellers & scuba-divers.  I myself have dived there on numerous occasions and have seen an incredible array of marine creatures, including a huge resident bull-ray who is seen on almost every dive.

At a time when Oman is supposedly trying to promote tourism it seems totally counterproductive to destroy the very things that make the country so attractive.  Richness is about so much more than money.  Oman is blessed with a richness of nature & biodiversity that you can not put a price on.

Surely there must be more appropriate places in which to build a navy dock? Couldn't it be added to the existing Salalah Port?  I would be very interested to know what the Marriott Hotel thinks of the plans. Who will want to visit the area if this goes ahead? or perhaps they are relying on the influx of military personnel?

Something needs to be done to stop this going ahead! So what can we do? and is there any way to even officially confirm the plans? I would be very grateful for feedback - particularly from Omanis who may know more on planning applications and what can be done to submit objections.  It is very difficult to get the support of an organisation (e.g. ESO) when we can not even get proof that the development is due to go ahead!

Just some of the marine creatures that would be affected...

(photos taken by me whilst diving in Mirbat)

Back in Business!!

Dhofar Eco Bug is back! A belated Eid Mubarak to you all and apologies for the absence. Dhofar ESO members will be meeting in Salalah tonight at 9pm at the Cafe de Paris. If you're keen to get involved and do your bit for our environment please join us! Also, watch out for my next post - which should be up later today and may be the most important one yet! Good to be back! Now when is khareef going to be over?!