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1 . South Africa     South Africa
Although reef communities extend into the waters of South Africa it is arguable whether these are true reef structures. There are three main areas: the northern, central and southern reef complexes. All are submerged communities growing over late Pleistocene dune and beach sequences, and reaching a minimum depth of about 8 meters. Diversity is lower than the reefs of more northern countries, with only 43 species of scleractinian coral recorded. Coral cover (hard and soft) is high, however, making up almost 50 percent of benthic cover (and 95 percent of the live cover). These reefs were largely unaffected by the 1998 coral bleaching event. Large numbers of divers visit the reefs, with over 90000 recreational dives per year, mostly visiting Two Mile Reef in the central complex. Lying offshore, these areas are not threatened by terrestrial sources of pollution or sedimentation, and they are protected within the St. Lucia Marine Reserve (a part of the wetland park). Artisanal fishing is permitted in much of the reserve.
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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