Despite the current status of Hikkaduwa as a coral sanctuary, years of fishing boat damage and the burning of coral for lime has taken its toll, particularly close to shore. In an attempt to help the coral within the lagoon regain its former glory, the International Diving School, with the help of Professor Ekaratne of Colombo University, has begun a coral restoration project. Using his years of experience in underwater construction Somey and his team created an artificial reef from specially made concrete blocks and ‘planted’ them with coral harvested from distant sites out of reach of the coral vandals.
This reef was anchored within the area now protected as a coral sanctuary, a few hundred meters off-shore, and left to develop. Three years later the result is a thriving reef where before there was only smashed coral. Somey now hopes to get permission to expand his project further but local bureaucracy makes this a considerable challenge, despite the obvious benefits for the marine environment.
Somey and his team are always happy to talk about their project and will gladly show you the prototype reef, which is within snorkeling distance of the International Diving School. When you visit please support them by signing the petition requesting government permission to continue their good work.
We dived in M/V Cordiality which was attacked and sunk by LTTE guerillas on 09th September 1997 with a cargo of 27,000 tons of mineral sand, off the coast of Pulmudai. The ship which sits upright is probably the only complete shipwreck presently in the waters of Sri Lanka. Due to the magnitude of the vessel, it is difficult to go around it in one dive. One can penetrate inside the ship through the entrance to the cabin.
We accessed this site after an arduous journey overland to Podeikattu, a small village where fisherfolk have established temporarily till the end of the season and hired a fishing boat from there. It may take around 3 hours to reach if one wishes to travel by boat from Trincomalee.
Our team has recognized the importance of corals to the ecosystem. Thus, we are highly encouraged to take steps towards creating a healthier coral system along the coast of Sri Lanka.
The coral project is for the greater good of marine life, tourism, and the earth as a whole. Protecting the coastlines is everyone’s responsibility. Coral reefs provide protection against erosion and storms to minimize the impact of the strong waves.
Tourists and locals love corals alike as they create beauty and create the ultimate snorkeling experience. Not only that but also coral reefs create a broad scope of employment opportunities for the local community, which we support at our diving center. By looking at the statistics, it seems to be that sea coral reefs provide protection, food, and an excellent income to more than half a billion.
Moreover; coral reefs attract sea turtles, sea horses, and many other different marine species, creating a beautiful and nurturing habitat for all ocean dwellers.
In addition; coral reefs protect marine life. In a coral reef habitat, a large number of species resides for protection and food.
Due to the coral project, diving in the area will let you witness the underwater lifestyle.
We aim to create a healthy ecosystem for the powered by a coral reef. In particular, with beauty and a better habitat below the sea level, we are on the top of the best diving places in Sri Lanka. When enjoying the magic of the coral reefs, always be careful not to damage them. Protecting coral reefs together will protect the ocean and humans at the same time.