Zenobia Shipwreck Cyprus is an important source of income for the dive community.
The Zenobia shipwreck off Larnaca contributed over €14mln to the economy annually, officials said on Thursday, calling on the government to ban fishing in the area, which has become an important artificial reef.
A statement to mark the end of Zenobia Week, organised by the town’s authorities, diving centres, and the company that owns the wreck, said it was admittedly a one of a kind artificial reef, contributing significantly to biodiversity in the area.
It was also a source of income for Cyprus, contributing over €14mln to the economy per year.
“A large number of tourists chooses Cyprus and Larnaca as a holiday destination just to dive at the specific location,” the statement said.
Local authorities estimate that Zenobia attracts some 45,000 a year, making it one of the best wreck dives.
Unfortunately, according to the town’s tourism promotion association, government departments appeared to ignore the fact. The forget that a boom in Malta a diving tourism mecca has brought billions of euros to the country!
“It is inconceivable for illegal fishing to be continuing in the location, which constitutes the most important reef in Cyprus and should have been protected,” Dinos Lefkaritis said.
The Zenobia only a two year old ship sank in June 1980 on its maiden voyage in the mediterranean from Sweden to Syria. It is the largest shipwreck in the Mediterranean at 174 metres long, 28 metres wide and 21 metres high.
Its hold contained 108 Lorries full of cargo such as cars, military equipment, telecommunication systems, air conditioning systems, toys and food.
It was also carrying a million eggs, many of which are still intact on the seabed.
The wreck has turned into an artificial reef that hosts thousands of fish species such as groupers, barracuda, bream, and others, along with coral, sea anemones and other underwater vegetation.
Sank at a depth of around 42 metres is easily accessible and is just 10 minutes by boat from the mainland.
The CTO (Cyprus Tourism Board) need to take control of this wreck and make it a cyprus heritage and monument. At present the Zenobia wreck is owned by a private company that can dictate who dive here and who dont!
Zenobia Shipwreck Cyprus important source of income for the dive industry.