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Friday, October 5, 2012

Wetlands Of Pakistan. The Arabian Sea Coral Reefs. (2012-20)

Wetlands of Pakistan The Arabian Sea Coral Reefs Commemorative Postage Stamps October 4, 2012:- Coral Reef Discovery Along Makran Coast, (Arabian Sea) Pakistan:- Coral Reefs are the “Rainforests” of the ocean. Reefs are ecologically important ecosystems and have a high biodiversity that serves as a storage bank of rich genetic resources. They are a source of food and medicine, and they protect the coast from wave erosion. Scientists have found an abundance of compounds to help fight heart disease, asthma, cancer, HIV and more.
Coral reefs are structure made of limestone deposited by living organisms. Although thousands of species inhabit coral reefs, however, only a fraction production produces the limestone that build the reef. The most important reef building organisms are the corals. Although there are hundreds of different species of corals but in general they are classified as either hard or soft coral. Hard corals (hermatypic) grow in colonies and are the architects of coral reefs.
Coral reefs are one of the oldest environments on earth. Most of the existing reefs have been growing from over 5,000 years.
There are three basic kinds of coral reefs: fringing reefs, barrier reefs, and atolls. Fringing reefs grow in shallow waters close to the coast. Barrier reefs are separated from land by lagoon, growing parallel to the coast and forming a large and continuous reef. Atolls are ring-shaped reefs that develop near the sea surface on underwater islands or island that sink, or subside.
Coral reefs are vital to coastal fisheries. It provide spawning, nursery, refuge and feeding areas for a large variety of organisms, including economically important crustaceans (e.g. shrimps, spiny lobsters and crabs).
A field mission of the Pakistan Wetlands Programme (PWP), lead by coral expert from Millport University, UK, indentified the first ever coral reef ecosystem near the Astola Island. Before this discovery it was blindly believed that coral reefs are not existed in Pakistan’s jurisdiction of the Arabian Sea.
The basis of information collected about coral reef associated fish species from the fishing areas near Gwader, an expedition team encompassing divers from PWP and Pakistan Navy conducted a survey of the possible coral sites in 2011 and discovered large area of deep sea coral near Gwader. This underwater survey was conducted in five sites in Gwader along the Arabian Sea. The most significant sites were: Cher Koh, Baladi Koh and Ganjabad. The coral colonies occurring at the Cher Koh, Baladi Koh and Ganjabad are mostly in growing stage and present a healthy condition.
Coral cannot survive it the water temperature is too high. Global warming has already led to increase levels of coral bleaching and this is predicated to increase in requency and severity in the coming decades. Adverse affects of this phenomenon cannot be avoided in terms of reefs ecosystems along Makran Coast.
On Wetlands of Pakistan (The Arabian Sea Coral Reefs), Pakistan Post is issuing a set of four commemorative postage stamps each denomination of Rs.8/- on October 4, 2012.