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1 . Qatar     Qatar
Conditions for coral growth are best on the northern and eastern coasts of Qatar, while the western coast is subject to extremes of temperature and salinity. The coral fauna found in Qatar is similar to that in UAE, with 18 species recorded, although this figure would probably rise with further study. The best coral growth in Qatari territorial waters is on the offshore islands, including Halul Island where strong Acropora regeneration has occurred recently. This island, however, contains the main oil and gas marine terminal of Qatar Petroleum and is subject to significant human impacts including dredging for harbour construction and marine outfalls. There has been very high coral mortality in the past 10 years from bleaching and human impacts, particularly affecting the shallow coral communities on the mainland coast, from Fasht al Dibal to Khor Al Oudeid. For example, several hectares of shallow (1-4 m) Acropora beds, with Porites mounds east of Doha suffered nearly 100% mortality in 1998. Prior to 1998, heavy siltation from construction of a breakwater and land reclamation for the new Doha International Airport severely stressed these communities. At other sites near the mainland, there is about 10% live cover of Porites or Cyphastrea remaining.

Despite the severe degradation of shallow communities, coral reefs in deeper water have some live coral cover, presumably because of reduced mortality from thermal stress. The new data from Qatar are from seabed surveys for environmental impact assessments or engineering works. Much of the seabed surrounding the oil and gas rigs in the eastern sector of the Qatari exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is a flat limestone cap rock with an occasional veneer of sediment. Coral communities can grow where this platform rises slightly, and are usually dominated by faviids and siderastreids. Although the live cover of these communities is low (5% or less) they may provide brood stock for future recovery of shallow communities.
Source: Rezai, H., S. Wilson, M. Claereboudt and B. Riegl , 2004 , Coral Reef Status in the Ropme Sea Area: Arabian/Persian Gulf, Gulf Of Oman and Arabian Sea. . p: 155-170 in C. Wilkinson (ed.). Status of coral reefs of the world: 2004. Volume 1. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Queensland, Australia. 301 p. (See Document)

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