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Divers to monitor health of coral reefs in the UAE

Divers to monitor health of coral reefs in the UAE

Divers to monitor health of coral reefs in the UAE
Rhett A. Butler,
September 12, 2005

According to an article in Gulf News, The Emirates Diving Association is training its members and staff to monitor the health of the coral reefs and marine life in the UAE.

Environmental groups are increasingly concerned over the health of the region’s marine ecosystems due to pollution, anchoring by ships and boats, and the construction of a number of artificial islands off the coast of Dubai. The loss of coral is not only detrimental to the Gulf’s biodiversity but also has economic consequences as well.

Aspen Aman, American project manager for a research company in the area, told Gulf News, “A metre of coral reef can protect about $47,000 (Dh172,640) worth of beachfront property. It’s fascinating to learn this and other facts to pass on afterwards.”

Artificial islands

Dubai, a city-state in the United Arab Emirates, has lately embarked on an ambitious plan to boost its international standing by building a number of artificial islands. These islands, which will house luxury residences, villas, and hotels, are a growing concern for environmentalists due to their impact on the local marine ecology. Dubai should be concerned as well for the long-term viability of the plan — rising sea levels from global climate change could spell trouble for its audacious and ostentatious investments. [more]

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