Over 70% of the largest cities on earth are associated with seashores (Duarte et al. 2008), and two thirds of the human population lives within 100 km of a coast (UNEP 2002). The Gulf is no exception, with most major urban centers directly adjacent to coasts, with its people both culturally and economically tied to marine resources. Coastal development has rapidly expanded in the Gulf since the 1950s, leading to an increase in the exploitation of coastal marine resources and the degradation of coastal habitats (Al-Madani et al. 1991; Mohammed and Al-Sadh 1996). Coastal fisheries throughout the Gulf are being increasingly exploited, with demersal reef fisheries stocks declining by over four-fifths in the past three decades (see Chap. 8), while dredging, reclamation, and associated coastal development activities have contributed to the permanent loss or long-term degradation of important intertidal, sea-grass, mangrove, and coral reef habitats throughout the Gulf (Price 1993; Al-Jamali et al. 2005; Khan 2007; Burt et al. 2008, 2009b; Maghsoudlou et al. 2008; Sheppard et al. 2010, chapter 16). It is likely that such impacts will accelerate in the coming decades as population continues to grow and become progressively more urbanized along the Gulf’s coastlines (GRWv3 2005).
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Coral reefs of the Gulf: adaptation to climatic extremes|
|Place of Publication||Dordrecht|
|State||Published - 2012|