Illegal fishing threatens Red Sea coral reefs
AP (Archive)

RED SEA, Egypt: Illegal fishing in the Red Sea has threatened the preservation of its coral reefs, as contraband marine life sold as pharmaceuticals or aphrodisiacs reaches $1000 per kilogram, said ecologist Ahmed Ghalab.

Ghalab told Youm7 that “many brokers have begun buying and selling the Red Sea’s rare marine animals” and illegal fishing has grown profitable as the marine life is exported to Southeast Asian countries for use in pharmaceuticals or aphrodisiacs.

The biodiversity of the Rea Sea and its coral reefs is unique because of environmental differences, Ghalab said. Since rivers do not pour into the sea, its temperature and salinity provide unique types of growth and a high degree of transparency in the water, part of the attraction to the thousands of tourist who dive their every year.

Unfortunately, Ghalab said, both the rare biodiversity and consequently the tourism are under threat as larger quantities of marine life are smuggled out of the country.

Originally published in Youm7.  

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