Mapping of Benthic Habitats in Northern Safaga Bay (Red Sea, Egypt): A Tool for Proactive Management
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Coral reefs, Tropical benthic habitats, Mapping, Coastal zone management, Environmental impacts, Red Sea
1. The spatial distribution of the most important subtidal habitats (coral reefs, coral carpets, seagrass meadows, sand with corals, macroids, mud, hardgrounds) and mangroves was mapped in northern Safaga Bay, Red Sea, Egypt. Coral communities were analysed separately for their ecological and spatial patterns. This, coupled with information about major current patterns in the bay, provides a framework on which to base impact predictions for planned developments or for those already underway.
2. Because the entire shoreline of northern Safaga Bay is earmarked for tourism development, the following impacts have already been observed and can be expected to worsen: dredging, coastal infilling, marina construction, alteration of inshore current patterns as a result of breakwater construction and eutrophication.
3. The maps of habitats could be used by management authorities to either license or forbid these activities in specific areas, thus avoiding damage to sensitive environments. Properly used, resource mapping is a powerful proactive management tool that allows resource managers to anticipate and avoid impacts at an early stage in the process.
Bernhard Riegl and Werner Piller. 2000. Mapping of Benthic Habitats in Northern Safaga Bay (Red Sea, Egypt): A Tool for Proactive Management .Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems , (2) : 127 -140. https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/293.