Author(s): Mostafa Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud
Using SCUBA diving and Line Intercepted Transect, twelve sites at the main cities of the Red Sea governorate were surveyed, to study the effect of different human activities on coral reef distribution. These cities were: Ras Gharib (polluted by oil pollution), Hurghada (impacted by coastal urban and tourism), Safaga (impacted by ports) and El-Quseir (harmed by phosphate industries and tourism). Sixty seven species belonging to 26 genera and 16 families of the hermatypic corals were recorded. The most dominant genera were, Porites, Acropora, Millepora, Stylophora, Pocillopora and Lobophyllia. Oil pollution have the greatest harm effect on coral reef distribution, where the lowest percent covers of life corals were recorded at Ras Gharib (61%). While, the lowest harm was due to tourism and phosphate industries. Where, the highest percents were found at Al-Qusier city (84%). Tubipora musuca recorded its highest percent cover nonexpectedly in presence of chronic oil pollution (Ras Gharib). In contrast, this species was completely disappeared in presence of phosphate. Petroleum oil led to coral scarcity and increased sea urchins at Ras Gharib. Coral reefs enriched with phosphate in the field, surprisingly was a companied by extraordinary well flourishing. The lowest amount of dead corals in Al-Qusier may be due to the rough conditions (strong wind and waves) causing difficulties in accessing that site. However, the highest amount of dead corals in Big Gefton Island, Hurghada is due to the increased boating and diving pressure compared to other sites. However, costal urban at Hurghada has a moderate effect on coral reef distribution. Massive corals have the highest percentage cover in all the investigated sites, followed by branching corals. Disappear of coral reefs at the vicinity of of Hurghada and Safaga ports are associated with the sandy bottom of both sites.