An assessment of grounding, anchoring and fishing methods on coral reef structures and reef fish near Kamaran and Uqban Seghir Islands, west coast of Yemen, Red Sea
Kamaran and Uqban Seghir Islands are situated on the continental shelf and are located in relatively shallow water at the southern part of the Red Sea, west coast of Yemen. Kamaran Island is traditional characterized by a good condition of the coral reef, and is regarded as an area for tourism and fishing. The major problem in these islands was the fishing activities (grounding and anchoring), which had caused extensive coral destruction. The studies were performed during the summer and autumn 2003 and autumn 2004 in order to evaluate the reef condition and those of the actual coral reef fishing activities. In addition the reefs were characterized and the related government policies investigated. Three and two transects were chosen at Uqban Seghir and Kamaran Island respectively. Underwater visual census (UVC) for 50 m long transects were used to assess the fish diversity. The fish transects were 50 x 5 m. Within the fish transects, underwater sequential photographs were taken (50 X 1 m) to assess benthic groups and coral reef coverage. Classification of the substrate type was based on benthic groups and life form categories. Evaluation of the data obtained during summer and autumn 2003 and autumn 2004 revealed that the islands had as a mean 20 % live coral coverage. Live coral coverage was 29, 18, 21, 15, and 19 % in transects 1 to 5 respectively. Dead corals were dominant in all transects (range: 63 - 79 %). Acropora spp. are dominant at the study area as well as in all Yemeni reefs.
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