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Helgoland Marine Research

Open Access

Marine reserves along the Sinai Peninsula (northern Red Sea)

  • L. Fishelson1
Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen33:BF02414785


The coral world of the northern Red Sea, situated along the shallow waters of the Sinai Peninsula, has been intensively investigated by Israeli scientists during the last decade. Many aspects of these investigations revealed the presence of unique ecosystems which developed mainly after the last postglacial period less than 10,000 years ago! At this time the cooling of the ambient waters swept out most of the neopleistocenic coral formations, and all the richness and diversity of species observed today evolved after those profound events. At present, typical ecoformations, in which the corals comprise the main part, are found in the northern part of the Gulf of Aqaba, around the southern tip (Tiran Straits) of the Sinai Peninsula, and in the shallow parts of the Gulf of Suez. In 1967 teams of our scientists investigated the marine habitats, and a number of marine parks and sanctuaries, protected by law, have been established. Thus destruction of unique faunal elements is being prevented. Today, with the withdrawal of Israel and the return of Egypt to its territories, such parks should receive much attention and remain protected habitats for the benefit of nature and mankind.