Kuwait enjoys a coastline of around 170 km, with some of the richest coral reefs in the world. There are at least 35 coral species found on Kuwaiti reefs. You can find some of them in Karu Island, Mudayra, Um Al-Maradem, Salama, Kubbar Island, and North West Qaru Reef.
If you were to take a dive in these reefs, you will likely find sea urchins, green turtles, hawksbill, and around 124 fish species within these beautiful reefs.
Why Coral Reefs are important?
When talking about ocean conservation, coral reefs are one of the most pressing issues. But why is that?
Coral reefs serve a crucial ecological, economic, aesthetic, and cultural role. They serve us by:
They help navigate boats. Before seamen spot a shore, they spot the coastal reefs which guide them to the nearest shore.
Reef provide habitat to thousands of sea animals. They are a source of protection and sustenance for these animals. You will likely find one of the richest marine animal diversity within these reefs.
They provide us with seafood. Not only sea animals but the seafood you enjoy at your local restaurant or supermarket likely came from a reef. Estimates show that around 500 million people consume seafood fished out of a reef.
Coral reefs are fast becoming a tourist attraction. With so many tourists attracted to coastal countries, reefs add a point of attraction for these people.
Coral reefs act as a natural barrier against soil erosion and also sea storms.
They clean up beach water. The sparkling clear water near oceans is partly because of coral reefs where corals and sponges feed on the particles in the ocean.
Threats to Coral Reefs in Kuwait
One of the most pressing issues when it comes to ocean conservation is the threat our demand for coastal resources has placed on this miraculous ecosystem. We are destroying our coral reefs by:
When we pollute the oceans with plastic cups and trash, it results in coral bleaching. Coral bleaching kills the symbiotic algae zooxanthellae in the oceans. This alga is responsible for producing nutrients that help the coral reefs in Kuwait to survive and flourish.
Destructive fishing practices, along with overfishing, create an imbalance in the coral ecosystem which severally impacts the sustainability of these reefs.
Unsustainable tourism practices can result in abusing the coral reefs in Kuwait.
Coastal construction can also have a negative impact on our coral reefs.
What can we do to protect Kuwait’s coral reefs?
Fortunately, we are now beginning to realize how important our coral reefs are for Kuwait. With awareness and informed citizens, we can help protect our coral reefs. We can start by:
Reduce Ocean Pollution. This one is a no-brainer. The less pollution we produce, the better for our oceans and the entire world. Focus on the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Conserve energy to reduce the greenhouse effect. When not in use, turn off your appliances. Be conscious of your electricity and water usage.
Coordinated action and cooperation. Take part in beach clean-up events by organizations We organize cleanup and other events to help create a cleaner ocean that subsequently saves the coral reefs in Kuwait. Join our community to keep updated on how to save oceans and the coral reefs in Kuwait.
Spread the word. Talk to your friends and family to raise awareness about preserving coral reefs in Kuwait and beyond.