IUCN and the Regional Organization for Conservation of Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA) recently joined forces to deliver a training course on the Economic Valuation of Damage by Ship Grounding on Coral Reefs.
The reefs of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden are suffering from different impacts due to the use of the region as a transit route for a significant percentage of the world's petroleum, dry bulk and other cargoes. With over 30,000 ships travelling through these waters annually, reef groundings by ships or boats are one of the main hazards for corals and coral reef ecosystems. Many factors are considered, from the strength of the grounding to the volume of the ship, and the bio-richness of the reef area to its ability to naturally recolonize. All these factors are considered when the evaluation of the damaged reefs are calculated, in addition to the economical value of the damaged reef area, whether it is used for fishing, diving or as a marine park.
The workshop drew in 20 marine professionals from 6 of the 7 member countries of the Jeddah Convention – Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. Participants from each country prepared presentations about the compensation procedures for coral reef damage in their country, including the positives and negatives, as a platform to exchange experiences and formulate the preliminary draft of Regional Guidelines.