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Status - Coral Reefs

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1 . Iran     Iran
There are fringing hard corals along some parts of the coast and around most of the islands. Very little information is available on their status, with the most recent information from Kish Island, 18km from the most southern point of the mainland in the Gulf (26°30N; 53°54E’). Here there are sandy flats and mixed communities of live and dead corals, with the best live coral on north and northeastern margins. In shallower depths (8m) there is higher biodiversity of reef fishes, invertebrates and hard corals, compared to the deeper reef slope (13m). There was considerable destruction of branching corals during a storm in 1996, anchor damage is higher in deeper water (13m), and many corals in shallower waters are damaged by uncontrolled recreational activities.

There are at least 35 coral species around Hormuz Island, with branching Acropora dominating around islands in the Gulf, as well as some soft coral (Sarcophyton) and crown-of-thorns starfish (COTs) in the northern part of the Gulf (Tunb-e-Kuchak Island). At Kish Island, 19 coral species have been identified with Acroporidae, Favidae and Poritidae most frequently and Agariciidae and Dendrophyllidae are quite rare. Surveys showed that the upper slope at 8m depth had the best hard coral growth, with 22% cover, 21% dead cover coral, 44% sand and 13% for other invertebrates. Dead coral cover was 28% in deeper water, and 48% in shallow water. Reef Check surveys showed the highest diversity of fish in shallow water.
Source: Pilcher, N.J., S. Wilson, S.H. Alhazeem & M.R. Shokri , 2000 , Status of Coral Reefs in the Arabian/Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea Region (Middle East) . In: Wilkinson, C. (ed.): Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2000. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Australia. p55-64. (See Document)

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