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1 . Singapore     Singapore
Although a relatively small country, Singapore’s coral reefs have received considerable scientific attention. Singapore consists of one large and some 50 small islands off the southern coast of the Malay Peninsula, separated from the mainland by the narrow Johor Strait. The southern edge of the country faces the Singapore Strait which connects the Strait of Malacca with the Java Sea.

Fringing reef communities are found around many of the southern islands, despite the typically relatively turbid waters, and 197 species of hard coral have been identified in the country. Percentage coral cover is variable, but as much as 76 percent was recorded in the 1980s. Unfortunately, however, there appears to be a steady ongoing decline in coral cover, and most reefs lost up to 65 percent between 1986 and 1999. During the 1998 bleaching event around 90 percent of all corals bleached and about 25 percent died, including significant quantities of soft corals.

The main island is highly developed, and large areas of fringing reefs have been directly destroyed by land reclamation. Although the remaining reefs lie between one of the world’s busiest ports and one of the world’s busiest seaways, many reef communities remain. Sewage and industrial waste treatment is relatively good, although increasing sediment loads appear to be taking their toll. Average visibility has apparently diminished from 12 meters in the 1960s to about 2 meters, and mean coral cover appears to be decreasing at most localities.
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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