, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 4–17 | Cite as

The Growing Need for Sustainable Ecological Management of Marine Communities of the Persian Gulf

  • Peter F. SaleEmail author
  • David A. Feary
  • John A. Burt
  • Andrew G. Bauman
  • Geórgenes H. Cavalcante
  • Kenneth G. Drouillard
  • Björn Kjerfve
  • Elise Marquis
  • Charles G. Trick
  • Paolo Usseglio
  • Hanneke Van Lavieren
Review Paper


The Persian Gulf is a semi-enclosed marine system surrounded by eight countries, many of which are experiencing substantial development. It is also a major center for the oil industry. The increasing array of anthropogenic disturbances may have substantial negative impacts on marine ecosystems, but this has received little attention until recently. We review the available literature on the Gulf’s marine environment and detail our recent experience in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) to evaluate the role of anthropogenic disturbance in this marine ecosystem. Extensive coastal development may now be the single most important anthropogenic stressor. We offer suggestions for how to build awareness of environmental risks of current practices, enhance regional capacity for coastal management, and build cooperative management of this important, shared marine system. An excellent opportunity exists for one or more of the bordering countries to initiate a bold and effective, long-term, international collaboration in environmental management for the Gulf.


Persian Gulf Arabian Gulf Coastal development Environmental quality Environmental degradation 


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter F. Sale
    • 1
    Email author
  • David A. Feary
    • 2
  • John A. Burt
    • 3
  • Andrew G. Bauman
    • 4
  • Geórgenes H. Cavalcante
    • 5
  • Kenneth G. Drouillard
    • 6
  • Björn Kjerfve
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
  • Elise Marquis
    • 10
  • Charles G. Trick
    • 11
    • 12
  • Paolo Usseglio
    • 13
  • Hanneke Van Lavieren
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Water, Environment and HealthUnited Nations UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.URS Corporation—Abu DhabiAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  3. 3.Faculty of Science (Biology)New York University—Abu DhabiAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  4. 4.School of Marine and Tropical BiologyJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia
  5. 5.URS Qatar LLCDohaQatar
  6. 6.Great Lakes Institute for Environmental ResearchUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada
  7. 7.World Maritime UniversityMalmöSweden
  8. 8.Department of GeographyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  9. 9.Department of OceanographyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  10. 10.Institute of OceanographyNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  11. 11.Department of BiologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  12. 12.Department of Microbiology & ImmunologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  13. 13.Hawaii Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, Department of ZoologyUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA

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