When the Red Sea, 2000 kilometres in length and 2000 metres deep, opened to the south several million years ago, it gradually became populated by marine animals from the Indo-Pacific. But, as the southern opening is only a narrow connection to the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea is an almost isolated body of water with a higher temperature and salinity.
That’s why over 10% of its fish species are endemic and live mainly in sea grass beds, sand zones and especially the fringing coral reefs.
The Red Sea is teeming with an amazing spectacle of colour and form. Reef sharks, stingrays, turtles, dolphins, colourful corals, sponges, sea cucumbers and a multitude of molluscs all thrive in these waters.
Coral reefs have existed on the planet for approximately 450 million years. They are the result of a remarkable relationship between coral animals and microscopic algae.
If corals are damaged, the ecological balance of the reef will be permanently disturbed !
The result would be loss of productivity and biodiversity, both would have serious consequences on this unique ecosystem.