People, Environment

Qeshm Corals Losing Battle to Global Warming

Qeshm Corals Losing Battle to Global WarmingQeshm Corals Losing Battle to Global Warming

The gradual rise in global temperatures poses a serious threat to the coral reefs of Qeshm Island in the Persian Gulf, according to the head of the Qeshm Free Zone’s Department of Environment.

“In recent years, global warming has caused coral bleaching and the gradual death of reef ecosystems around the island,” Seyyed Mohammad Hashem Dakhteh told IRNA.

He said the rate of coral bleaching in the Persian Gulf, especially around Qeshm, has been noticeably increasing in the past few years, and shows no signs of letting up.

While coral bleaching reverses after summer when the temperatures drop, consistently high temperatures in recent years have ensured corals receive no respite to recover.

“Global warming has robbed the corals of their ability to recover. Soon, the rising temperatures will affect more resilient species,” he warned.

Dakhteh said the situation is being monitored by the department’s Marine Biology Office, adding that recent studies show coral reefs in the Persian Gulf are not adapting to the rising temperatures.

“The department is cooperating with the Coral Watch Organization at the University of Queensland in Australia. We’ve sent them all the data obtained from our studies,” he said.

The official said tourists must be turned away from coral areas and called for trained rangers to guard the vulnerable marine species.

“We have to raise public awareness regarding the importance of corals by putting up posters and handing out fliers. People must learn about factors endangering corals and how to help protect them,” he said.

Dakhteh said cooperation with neighboring countries can also help protect the endangered species, stressing that ships must not be allowed to anchor in coral regions.