Reef Check News

PERSGA Releases Status Report on Red Sea and Gulf of Aden


Submitted by PERSGA's Dr. Mohammed M. A. Kotb

The Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (RSGA) are globally distinguished by their great diversity of marine environments, the number of unique species, and the importance of marine resources to the social and economic development of the region. This region, however, has experienced rapid coastal development in the past four decades. This has been followed, in some places, by degradation of the marine and coastal environments and loss of their potential to sustain the livelihoods of coastal populations. The nations of the region have acted to conserve these environments, and PERSGA was established to organize regional activities, initiatives, and efforts for the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

PERSGA participated with member countries in two regional surveys of coral reef ecosystems, the first during 2002 and the second during 2008. Their status report, to be published in February 2010, presents data from the 2008 survey in which 36 sites were surveyed in Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen using the Reef Check survey protocol. This data was compared to that collected during the regional survey of 52 sites in 2002.

The key findings of the analysis for the whole RSGA region are as follows:

Some recommendations are suggested as priority actions to assure better monitoring of the coral reef environment which will help in the evaluation of conservation measures taken at national and regional levels. These recommendations include: