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Coral reefs in the Gulf of Eilat are Declining

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 29-12-2023
Coral reefs in the Gulf of Eilat are Declining Environment 4 min read

As per Israeli reports Coral reefs in the Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba near the Red Sea are facing decline. The report attributes this deterioration to a combination of factors including rising temperatures in the Red Sea, underwater pollution, extreme storms, and disease outbreaks

The Gulf of Eilat’s unique coral reef is struggling to cope with climate change, extreme weather, and local stressors.

Gulf of Aqaba

  • The Gulf of Aqaba, in Israel known as the Gulf of Eilat, is a large gulf of the Red Sea. It is located to the east of the Sinai peninsula and west of the Arabian peninsula. 

  • Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia all have coastlines on the Gulf of Aqaba. The Gulf serves as a connecting point for the African and Asian continents.

  • The Gulf of Aqaba, like the coastal waters of the Red Sea, is one of the world's premier diving locations. The area is especially rich in coral and other marine biodiversity.

What are Corals?

  • Corals are invertebrate animals belonging to a large group of colourful and fascinating animals called Cnidaria. Other animals in this group that you may have seen in rock pools or on the beach include jellyfish and sea anemones.

  • Each individual coral animal is called a polyp, and most live in groups of hundreds to thousands of genetically identical polyps that form a ‘colony’. The colony is formed by a process called budding, which is where the original polyp literally grows copies of itself.

  • Coral are generally classified as either “hard coral” or “soft coral”. There are around 800 known species of hard coral, also known as the ‘reef building’ corals. Soft corals, which include seas fans, sea feathers and sea whips, don’t have the rock-like calcareous skeleton like the others, instead they grow wood-like cores for support and fleshy rinds for protection.

  • Coral reefs have evolved on earth over the past 200 to 300 million years, and over this evolutionary history, perhaps the most unique feature of corals is the highly evolved form of symbiosis. Coral polyps have developed this relationship with tiny single-celled plants, known as zooxanthellae. Inside the tissues of each coral polyp live these microscopic, single-celled algae, sharing space, gas exchange and nutrients to survive.

Major threats for the corals

  • Natural: Environmental-Temperature, Sediment Deposition, Salinity, pH, etc

  • Anthropogenic: Mining, Bottom Fishing, Tourism, pollution, etc.

Corals in India

Coral reefs are present in the areas of Gulf of Kutch, Gulf of Mannar, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep Islands and Malvan.


Answer. No corals are invertebrate animals

Answer Red Sea
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