Baseline marine investigation and impact of fish farming on the marine environment in Jebel Ali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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Marine Pollution Bulletin


© 2020 Scattered seashells were observed on the seabed with no marine corals. The baseline studies indicate that biodiversity decreased from the northeast to southwest direction. The dominant groups of phytoplankton were diatoms followed by dinoflagellates, with insignificant vertical variations in species composition and population due to shallow water. The benthic diversity over the majority of the study area was relatively low compared with other nearshore areas in the region. All subtidal habitats showed evidence of disturbance to varying degrees, with no fish species recorded at these locations. The soft sediment habitat was found to cover much of the area footprint, and faunal diversity was very low. Fish diversity and abundance were equally poor with only a few demersal species recorded. No evidence of coral colonization was recorded although the presence of a low-profile, encrusting species was recorded in close proximity, to the east of the study area. Mangrove, coral, and seagrass were absent in the study area and its immediate vicinity. Modelling of waste plume suggested that the harbor water is fairly well-mixed, and the dispersion of ammonia attenuates with distance.

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