[Coral-List] Saudi Reefs

Gwilym Rowlands rowlands at nova.edu
Fri Sep 12 17:00:27 EDT 2008

Hi David,

In May 2006, an exhaustive survey of reef habitats and associated  
fisheries, feeding into a large scale habitat mapping project, was  
carried out in the western Farasan Islands, Jizan province. The work,  
carried out under the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation, was  
a collaboration of a number of agencies including the National Coral  
Reef Institute (NCRI), Nova Southeastern University, to which I am  

I presented the preliminary outputs of this project at the recent  
International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS). In summary, the western  
edge of the Farasan Islands is largely a sedimentary system. Algae and  
sponge assemblages cover much of the available hardground and  
consolidated sediment habitats. That said, significant coral resources  
exist within dense micro-atoll formations as well as vast Acroporid  
carpets located primarily in the north-west. The fringing reef habitat  
around most of the Farasan Islands is dominated by macro-algae.  
Upcoming work in the early next year will incorporate assessment of  
more coastal reef areas in the region. The work in Jizan feeds into a  
larger basin-scale project providing baseline monitoring,  
characterisation and mapping of reef areas, along the Saudi coastline  
from Tabuk to Jizan province. Publications detailing this body of work  
are expected mid-way through 2009.

Best regards


Gwilym Rowlands

National Coral Reef Institute (NCRI)
Oceanographic Center
Nova Southeastern University
8000 N. Ocean Drive, Dania
FL 33004

Email: rowlands at nova.edu
Phone: ++01-954-262-3615

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