KUWAIT Dive Team
The Kuwait Diving Team have recorded a widescale bleaching occurrence of coral reef on the shores of Um Al-Maradim Island southeast of the country.
The team during inspectional rounds of marine life in the Kuwaiti shores, discovered bleaching that has affected more than 95 percent of coral surrounding the island, Head of the team’s Environmental Projects, Mahmoud Ashkanani told KUNA on Tuesday. Coral bleaching is the whitening of corals, stress-induced expulsion or death of their symbiotic (an organism which lives in coral and gives it its distinct colour). This can be triggered environmentally and affects the coral’s ability to supply these organisms with nutrients for photosynthesis (carbon dioxide, ammonium), thus leading to the organisms’ expulsion. Ashkanani said that the huge scale of the bleaching is unprecedented, and has affected the all of the coral surrounding the island up to a depth of 10 meters. He added that dead fish were also found floating on the water surface, or laying between the coral, indicating to an extremely high water temperature of 34 degrees Celsius under a five-meter depth. The team have collected specimens of the coral, to dispatch to local and international labs for study, he said, calling for added significance to the phenomenon.