7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Local News

Reclamation threat to coral reef

LAND reclamation activities and pollution from factories are killing Bahrain's coral reef areas, according to a series of environmental surveys.

Malkiya Rovers Abdulnabi Ahmed and Sami Abbas presented the findings of their group's surveys in 2001, 2003 and last year to the Bahrain Natural History Society during a presentation held at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical University in the Seef District last night.

They said the Fasht Al Adham coral reef, located off Sitra island and which continues all the way to Qatar, faces the greatest danger.

"This is because of pollution from nearby factories and land reclamation activities, which disturb the seabed. When this happens, the sand particles block the pores of the corals and suffocate them," explained Mr Ahmed.

"A similar thing happens when factories extract and treat sand used for construction from the sea."

The Heyr Abulthameh and Najwa coral reefs, located towards the north of Bahrain, near the border of its regional waters, is also in danger but for different reasons.

"Trawling nets used by fishermen are affecting the coral there," pointed Mr Ahmed.

"The Heyr Abulthameh, in particular, is a very good spot for shrimping," he said.

"Nawja, which is mostly located in Saudi's territorial waters, is the least affected of the three because it is far away from any kind of industrial activity, although fishermen do still fish there."

Mr Ahmed said global warming, which raises the temperature of the world's waters, is also having a substantial effect on destroying our coral reef colonies.

He said he could not predict how long it would take for Bahrain's coral reefs to die out completely, but that it was inevitable at the rate that things are going.

"It takes generations for coral to grow a few centimetres and it is definitely being destroyed at a faster rate than that."

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