A comprehensive survey completed recently by the Kuwait Diving Team along 50 miles of Persian Gulf coastline in the United Arab Emirates found that 90% of the reefs off the emirate’s shores have been affected by bleaching.
The condition, which results in the loss of the reefs’ brightly colored algae and leaves just the white skeleton behind, is known to be aggravated by higher temperatures, and the region’s waters this year were noted to have risen to 35 degrees Celsius.
Diving team lead Walid Al-Fadhel, said that he and fellow team mates are involved in awareness raising campaigns as well as calling for officials to help halt further damage.
A similar study conducted in the Philippines this summer discovered wide-spread bleaching of corals there that has left 95% perished. This is the worst event of reef bleaching in Philippine history, surpassing the last disaster of 1998 which was the hottest year on record until now.
Thomas Goreau, president of Global Reef Alliance, a non-governmental organization based inCambridge, Massachusetts, USA said that reefs worldwide have similarly suffered massive losses. stating He stated, “This year is certainly the hottest year in history. This is a result of global warming.” He went on to say that coral reefs in Bahrain, Qatar and other emirates as well as Iran have all likely undergone a similar change but have not yet been reported.
We are saddened to know of such widespread marine decline, and wish to thank the Kuwait Diving Team, as well as Philippine divers and concerned organizations such as the Global Reef Alliance Mr. Goreau for your work in sharing these discoveries. May we all work hand in hand to halt such damage and renew the balance and beauty of our eco-sphere.
Expressing concern for the deteriorating health of the coral reefs during an October 2009 videoconference in Indonesia, Supreme Master Ching Hai urged for humanity’s conscientious actions to restore the stability of the marine ecosystem and all the life that it supports.