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1 . Eritrea     Eritrea
The reefs of Eritrea are extensive and suffered little human impact before the 1990s. Since then there have been small increases in both the coastal population and fisheries. Commercial trawlers, including licensed vessels operating from Saudi Arabia, fish mostly in deeper water away from the reefs, although there are thought to be some reef-associated species in their catch, and there is concern that this might indicate they are straying into reef areas. Artisanal fisheries target a broad range of species, including finfish, molluscs, sea cucumbers and pearl oysters. There is also a commercial fishery for the aquarium trade, and around 100 000 fish were exported between 1995 and 1997. The most important and diverse reefs, around the offshore islands including the Dahlak Archipelago, remain in relatively good condition despite the lack of legal protection. By contrast some of the coastal reefs have suffered from development and land reclamation, notably around Massawa.

This was an area of considerable political unrest until separation from Ethiopia was attained in 1993, and there has been sporadic unrest in the south of the country since that time. As a result of these problems there is no significant tourism industry, although it seems likely that this could develop relatively rapidly as and when social and economic stability allow. Considerable efforts have been underway since 1999 to develop a comprehensive management regime for the country’s coastal resources, including the designation of protected areas.
Source: Spalding, M.D., C. Ravilious and E.P. Green , 2001 , World Atlas of Coral Reefs . Prepared at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre. University of California Press,Berkeley,USA.421p. (See Document)

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