An international team of scientists has published a letter in Science magazine highlighting the importance of preserving Egypt’s 1800km/1120 miles of coral reefs.
The letter showcases how the northern reefs are some of the world’s most climate change-resilient reefs. Although unfortunately, they face a series of local threats from fishing, coastal development, unsustainable tourism and more. The letter highlights the importance of combating these local factors as the key to preserving and protecting these reefs.
The team was led by Karine Kleinhaus, from Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.
The authors state in the letter:
“Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that 70 to 90 percent of warm water reefs will disappear this century even if warming is constrained to 1.5 degrees C. But the corals of the northern Red Sea are thermally resilient and likely to survive IPCC warming predictions.”
While other study authors, Research Associate John Bohorquez and Professor Ellen Pikitch agree, stating:
“Fringing reefs are of high cultural and economic importance, (and) Egypt has the most valuable coral reef tourism economy in the world, contributing two percent of its GDP. The reefs could benefit from an expanded and fortified marine protected area network.”
You can find out more information here.