A photo of mine from my recent expedition in Kuwait with Biodiversity East made it to the first page of today's issue of Arab Times, the english language daily newspaper of Kuwait. It features a cuttlefish couple in the coral reef setting of Qaru island in the Arabian Gulf.
After 14 days spent in remote locations in the hot and humid Qatar and Kuwait, I am back to the mild climate of Greece with my mind full of memories and experiences...
From living and working for conservation with locals to underwater explorations in places few (if any) have seen, this trip has opened a new world in front of my eyes and lenses! One of the greatest surprises I had during this trip was the variety of marine life I encountered during the few dives I did in the Arabian Gulf. This is something I had not expected at all, having read scientific reports about the region regarding the extreme water temperature fluctuations during the year and the high salinity that fall well outside the optimum range for coral reef development and thus act as a limiting factor for the development of both corals and associated fauna. Especially in Kuwait, the actual living coral growth and abundance around the remote island Qaruh blew me away, considering that the 1996, 1998 and 2002 mass mortality events supposedly killed more than 90% of corals in the Gulf!
This is indeed a fragile underwater world that is much more interesting and rich than originally thought, and in dire need of appreciation and protection.