Coral Reef Conservation In Qatar - Panda

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Coral Reef Conservationin QatarDr. Mohamed Alaa Abdel-MoatiSCENR- State of QatarE-mail: mamoati@qatarenv.org.qa

Land Area11,437 Km2Marine Area 35,000 Km2 15% of the GulfEastern Coast 325 KmWestern Coast 285 KmBoth 23% of the Gulf CoastlineAverage depth 30 m (max: 60 m EEZ)Marine Area harbors 90% of Development activities

Marine Resourcesof Qatar

Threats to Qatari MarineResourcesTemperature and Salinity39Temprature C37353331292707080910Months1995199619971998

August 2006

EchinodermsDiseases

Man-Made threats to Qatari MarineEnvironment¾ Dredging Activities (turbidity, sedimentation)Qatar PearlNDIA

ThermalEffluents

Pollution

Physical disturbance

Overfishing

Tourism

Coral Surveys¾SARC (ESC/ University of Qatar) survey.¾ Qatar Coral Monitoring Program (QCMP) (SCENR).The aim of 2004 survey was: baseline assessment of coral reef status and healthmapping the extent and location of coral reefs along Qatar EEZMeasure the vulnerability of the resourcesmonitoring of coral condition in fixed locations rapid assessment of the status of reef-associated fauna, flora and fishdevelopment of first-level management suggestionsproduce a report that serve as a baseline for future, more detailed studyhands-on training of SCENR staff¾The survey was executed by SCENR / National Coral Reef Institute at NovaSoutheastern University in Florida (USA)/ University of Qatar (ESC), andQatari Coast Guard.

NDIA and RAF ReefNDIA ReefRAF Reef

Khor Al Odaid8 species of coral were alive:¾ Cyphastrea microphthalmaPlatygyra lamellina¾ Favia sp.Porites harrisoni¾ Platygyra crosslandiCoscinarea monile¾ Porites lutea¾ Coscinarea columnaPlatygyra crosslandiCoscinarea monile

Halul IslandLive Acropora arabensis and Favia pallida16 species were encountered:¾ Acropora arabensis¾ Acropora clathrata¾ Acropora downingi¾ Platygyra daedalea¾ Platygyra lamellina¾ Favia favus¾ Favia speciosa¾ Pavona decussataAcropora arabensis¾ Psammocora haimeana(2 yrs old)¾ Porites lutea¾ Porites solida¾ Porites harrisoni¾ Porites nodifera¾ Cyphastrea microphthalma¾ Plesiastrea versipora¾ Leptastrea purpureaLive Acropora clathrata probably settled in 1999

App. 5-6 year old Acropora downingiPorites harrisoniPlatygyra lamellina (foreground) andPorites harrisoni (directly behind)

Why Halul Island presently has thebest coral growth in Qatar1. Water Depth: The island is situated near deep water (in excess of20m) reducing the potential stress by unusually heated seawater.2. Stronger currents than mainland reefsThis has two effects:Firstly: the currents aid in the removal of toxic metabolites from coraltissues at the onset of potential bleaching events and may thus aid inavoiding lethal bleaching.Secondly: the currents bring larvae from upstream seeding areas,such as the Saudi Arabian offshore islands and, possibly, Iran.

Umm al Arshan14 species in a single dive:¾ Acropora clathrata¾ Cyphastrea microphthalma¾ Porites lutea¾ Porites harrisoni¾ Plesiastrea versipora¾ Siderastrea siderea¾ Coscinarea monile¾ Coscinarea columna¾ Platygyra lamellina¾ Favia pallida¾ Turbinaria reniformis¾ Pavona decussata¾ Psammocora haimeana¾ Favites pentagonaMixed faviid:Turbinaria assemblageAcropora downingiDense schools of Lutjanus snappers

“battery” for regenerationA large Platygyra lamellina ( not bleached)Turbinaria peltata (right), next to Favia pallida

Ras laffan9 species:¾ Cyphastrea microphthalma¾ Porites lutea¾ Porites harrisoni¾ Plesiastrea versipora¾ Siderastrea siderea¾ Coscinarea monile¾ Coscinarea columna¾ Platygyra lamellina¾ Favia pallidaDead Acropora skeleton in 3m of waterPorites harrisoniin 5m of waterPorites lutea on the Ras Laffan port breakwater

Survey Results¾¾¾¾¾¾¾¾¾¾¾LocationSite visitedNDIA4Khor Odaid3Fasht Al-Ghabi3Halul Island4Fasht Al-Dibal2Fasht Al-Aref2Fasht Al-Hedied2Fasht al-Bisheriah1Ras laffan4Umm Al-Arshan1Shrura’aw3* Pavona cactus only recoded in this site** 2005 binational cruiseLive CoralsNone83 16-20*321None946**

Artificial Reef¾¾¾¾¾¾¾Surface area: 5 m2Weight: 250 kgHeight : 1 mBase Width : 95 cmCoarse Aggregate: 20 mm (Gabbro)Fine Aggregate: Qatar Sand Treatment PlantHoles: Eight (2 on each side) (11cm Diameter) Top:30cm

18th August, 2003Sea Cucumbers are very commonbenthos on Reef BallsRare Scarus sordidus FishSea Urchins18th August, 2003

Artificial ReefGuidelines

RegionalCooperation

SCENREADDOLPHINWWFEWSNCRI

CoralSettlement

Coral relocation¾¾¾Introduction of viable adultcolonies into denuded areas inorder to create new broodstockfor local recruitment.Breeding of corals in thelaboratory “Nubbins”In areas of high coral density, ifmass spawning occurs, coralspawn slicks can be collectedand moved to denuded areas,where the coral larvae are thenpumped onto the reef in theexpectation that they will settle.

Awareness

Organization & legislation¾¾¾¾¾¾¾¾Permanent Environmental Protectioncommittee 1981Environment Department (MMAA) 1994SCENR 2000Kuwait Convention 1978Law # 4 for 1983 and Law # 19 for 2003.Ameri decree # 4 for 2002 (Islands are PAs)Environment Law No. 30 for 2002Standards and Regulations 2005

Suggestions for futuremanagement¾¾¾¾¾¾¾¾¾¾¾¾Expand PAs of coral reefs and associated habitatsEnforce law and regulations for the sake of coral conservationCapacity building for effective managementStrengthen science (research & application) and monitoring programs.Change conservation objectives – e.g. from monitoring # species tofunctional redundancyIncrease awareness to sea visitors (educational, CDs, brochures, )Informing the public of sustainable choicesLaunch Atlas for sensitive areas (expected 2/2007)Strengthen database network and website on coralsEnhance binational, regional and international cooperation.Proactive, responsive managementEconomic valuation of the resource in order to set fines andcompensations

Thank You

Coral Surveys ¾SARC (ESC/ University of Qatar) survey. ¾Qatar Coral Monitoring Program (QCMP) (SCENR). The aim of 2004 survey was: baseline assessment of coral reef status and health mapping the extent and location of coral reefs along Qatar EEZ Measure the vulnerability of the resources monitoring of coral condition in fixed locations rapid assessment of the status of .

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