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1 . Iran     Iran
Very little information is currently available describing reef communities off the coast of Iran. Fringing reefs are known to occur along parts of the mainland and particularly around some of the offshore islands, including Kharg and Kharko Islands in the north and several other small islands to the south. Some 35 coral species have been recorded from around Hormuz Island. As Iran has the deepest and least saline waters of the Gulf, it seems likely that further research may reveal new reef areas and considerable biodiversity.

Fishing is an important industry. From 1989 to 1995 there was a near doubling of the number of fishing vessels to more than 9 000, although fish catches did not show similar increases. Efforts to control the effects of trawling may actually have led to an increase in the impacts on coral reef species. There is also an ornamental fish trade, notably operating from the free trade areas of Kish and Qeshm Islands. Other human impacts, considerable in major industrial areas in the northwest and around Kish and Qeshm, include sedimentation and pollution, together with solid waste and anchor damage. Around Kish Island, algal overgrowth of corals in the late 1990s has been attributed to increased nutrient levels. The narrow waters around the Straits of Hormuz are among the busiest tanker lanes in the world, representing an ongoing threat to the southernmost reefs.
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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