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EAD sets up coral reef monitoring stations

posted on 22/07/2015: 2030 views

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, EAD, is surveying the condition of the coral reefs in Abu Dhabi's coastal waters through 10 new monitoring and control stations.

The National daily newspaper, quoting Ibrahim Bakla, Head of the Marine Evaluation and Control Unit at EAD, said the stations monitored temperature fluctuations hourly throughout the year and assessed data related to coral growth, live coral, dead coral and coral diseases.

The monitoring stations are at Ras Ghaanda, Al Saadiyat, Al Dabeya, Al Hayl, Delma, Makasseb, Al Yasat, Baraka and Sir Bani Yas.

He added that the health of corals had greatly deteriorated in the tropics and subtropics of the world, including the Arabian Gulf area, because of rises in temperature and coastal development, which is one of the main reasons for the increased risks to these vital coral reefs.

According to John Burt, Associate Professor and Head of the Marine Biology Lab at New York University Abu Dhabi, the Arabian Gulf is the world's hottest sea, and Abu Dhabi reefs can provide incredible insight into how corals may adapt to increasing temperatures expected under future climate change.

In a collaborative project in March this year between NYU Abu Dhabi and the University of Southampton in the UK, researchers identified a unique species of symbiotic algae that grows in corals in the southern Arabian Gulf.

But the symbiotic association is vulnerable to changes in environmental conditions, particularly increases in seawater temperature, and the new monitoring stations could help to identify changes and correlations between temperature and coral health. . – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


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