Member Type Country



Focal Points

Dr Tamer Monir Attalla
Environmental Researcher
Red Sea Protectorates, Natural Conservation Sector, Ministry of Environment

Yasser Geneid
National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF)

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Egypt is surrounded on its north and east by two large enclosed seas, the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. The Red Sea is species-rich and nurtures reef systems that are among the richest in the world as well as mangroves that play a vital role in the health of the sea. The reefs and the mangroves of the Red Sea are arguably among the most important vehicles of biodiversity in the world. However, the fauna and flora of the Red Sea is essentially a modified version of the threat of the Indo-Pacific and it also has relatively few endemic species. Ecosystems and habitats must be maintained to safeguard species. Species must be protected in order to conserve ecosystems and habitats. In Egypt, the lack of species abundance and the relatively large number of eco-zones and habitats makes the preservation of both especially important.

Learn more about the coral reefs of Egypt (PDF file).

Related website:

Ministry of Environment Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency
Background information

Surface of Coral Reefs: Around 3000 Km2

Egypt’s coral reefs are located within and south of the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba. Fringing reefs have formed on the Egyptian Red Sea coast as well as along the Gulf of Suez and Gulf of Aqaba, which extend from Gubal in the north to Ras Hedarba, at the border of Sudan. This fringing reef is not continuous because periodic flooding from wadis creates gaps in the reef, resulting in soft bottom sharms or lagoons. Seaward extensions and the complexity of coastal fringing reefs are directly related to the nature and profile of underlying substratum as well as the force of periodical floods. Several submerged offshore reefs in addition to the fringing reefs that encircle more than 46 offshore islands are also found, forming rich coral reefs communities and precious natural resources in the region. The reef flats of the fringing reefs comprise some 1760 km2 of the Egyptian Red Sea coastline with an average width of 250m. Seaward reef walls or faces have an average depth of 30m, which equates to a total area 492 km2 of fringing reefs in the Egyptian Red Sea. Patchy form reefs around the islands total 156 km2 giving a total reef area of 733 km2

MPA Information

MPA(s) with coral reefs:

  • Ras Mohamed National Park
  • Nabq Protected Area
  • Abu Gallum Protected Area
  • Elba Natural Protected Area
  • Wadi El Gemal – Hamata Protected Area
  • Red Sea Northern Islands

Learn more:

World Heritage Site(s)

Site(s) with coral reefs: 2

There are two sites on the Tentative List:

Last Updated: 19 June 2024