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Tanzania Scuba Diving
Dive Site: Monoliths
Location: Mtwara, Tanzania
Depth: 5 - 20 metres (15 - 65 feet)
Visibility: 5 - 20 metres (15 - 65 feet)
On the edge of the deep water channel, slightly north of the harbour mouth is this group of coral massifs, with the tops at about 5 metres. Most of the action is at an average of 18-20 metres along the gulleys and channels in amongst these upthrust structures. You can expect to see grouper, wrasse, rays and plenty of pelagics, with lots of little stuff as well, such as sand eels in patches, nudibranchs and ghost shrimp.
I noticed a complete lack of sharks during the ten dives that I made in Mtwara Bay. Not even one little blacktip reef shark on view. I am told that this is due to the fact that those ecological vandals the Chinese had been through earlier in the year, replacing the local fishermens' basic monofilament-wound-around-a-stick gear with sophisticated 200 metre set-ups specifically to catch sharks for their fins. The calamitous spin-off of this is that by July '08 no fewer than 13 Coelacanths had been dragged from the previously unattainable depths. The one I saw, awaiting shipping to an overseas buyer in a deep freeze at the local fish market, was 1.4 metres long and weighed in at 61 kilograms. But since such a catch probably means much more than a year's income for the fisherman, you can't really blame them.
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