The Open Environmental Pollution & Toxicology Journal


ISSN: 1876-3979 ― Volume 4, 2013

Assessment of Present Status and Future Needs of Four Coral Reef Sites Along the Gulf of Aqaba, Egypt

The Open Environmental Pollution & Toxicology Journal, 2009, 1: 34-42

Ahmed Ammar Mohammed Shokry

National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Suez, P.O. Box 182, Egypt

Electronic publication date 10/4/2009
[DOI: 10.2174/1876397900901010034]


The present status and future needs of four coral reef sites (Taba, Nuweiba , Dahab and Sharm El-Sheikh) along the Gulf of Aqaba, Egypt were evaluated. A total of 60 quadrats, distributed at different depths or different patches were surveyed at each site during the year 2007. Three mooring buoys were reported only in Ras Umm Seid but nothing was found in other sites, however excessive boating and diving pressure were recorded only in Ras Umm Seid. Highest amount of garbage was recorded in Nuweiba, patrolling efficiency was best in Taba but no patrolling activities were recorded in other sites. Ras Umm Seid (Sharm El-Sheikh) had the highest amount of dead corals (13%) due to increased boating and diving pressure compared to other sites, however Dahab had the lowest amount of dead corals (4%) due to the rough conditions (strong wind and waves) causing difficulties in accessing that site. Nuweiba and Taba had high percent cover of sands (10% and 11%, respectively) playing a key role in the considerable amount of dead corals in both sites. Lowest % new coral recruits in Taba (0.5%) was associated with the soft sandy bottom, the opposite was true in Sharm El Sheikh due to the rocky bottom. Future needs of the studied sites include decreasing the number of divers to the diver carrying capacity (DCC), repair of existing buoys and incorporation of 5 more buoys in Ras Umm Seid. Other sites have no future needs in these regards as they are far beyond the DCC. Nuweiba needs first of all to be cleaned, then being protected for giving the chance of recovery. Except for Taba which has efficient patrolling, the other 3 sites need efficient terrestrial and marine patrolling as well as enforcement of EEAA regulations. However reef access points which were absent in all sites need to be established to minimize reef damage on accessing deeper water. Also, the environmental awareness field signs which were absent in all sites need to be established and managed. Taba is recommended as a protected area as it has the food for threatened species beside being useful as a nesting site. Ras Umm Seid is recommended to have a established artificial reef to draw the attention of divers and snorklers from the natural reefs and prepare artificial shelters for fishes thus promoting the fish resources.

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