Hurghada coral diseases; are they due to the impacts of global warming or mass tourism?

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Benha University, Egypt

2 National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Suez branch, Egypt


This study is trying to assess the types and frequencies of occurrence of coral diseases.  Are these diseases due to the impacts of global warming or tourism on coral reefs along
the Red Sea coast off Hurghada? Results
indicated that there is a high disease prevalence (46 %) with the presence of four
coral diseases/ syndromes; White Syndrome (21.6%), Bleaching (16.2 %), Black
Band Disease (8.2%) and overgrowth of sponge were near the sampling transects. Data
of the Coral Reef Watch about the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomaly produced
by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicated that there was 1°C increase in SST in 2009 and 1.5°C
increase in 2010 in the northern Red Sea
region. The increased prevalence of coral diseases in the Red
Sea coast off Hurghada might be attributed to sea surface temperature
(SST) anomaly due to global warming.  It
might be also due to activities associated with tourism such as exaggerated coastal
development through construction of hotels and increased sewage run off and unregulated
recreational activities such as SCUBA diving, snorkeling, and reef walking. Coral
reefs must be considered and incorporated into management plans. To conserve
these valuable marine resources, we have to adopt the sustainability concept of
ecotourism instead of mass and random tourism activities.