Project Location: Yemen
Project Date: 2007
Project Funding: Yemen LNG
Project Summary: MEP were contracted by YLNG to survey the waters of Ras Balhaf in Shabwa province to determine the ecological functions of the coral habitat and the fish populations they support.
MEP were contracted by YLNG to survey the waters of Ras Balhaf in Shabwa province, to determine the ecological functions of the coral habitat and the fish populations they support, in particular to identify the role of the Ras Balhaf habitat in the commercial fisheries of the region and to establish a baseline for future monitoring, during the life of the Gas Export Terminal under construction at Ras Balhaf. MEP benthic, coral and fisheries specialists established transects, identified coral species, associated benthic species and fish species present and estimated fish biomass from transect filming at the onset of the monsoon and post monsoon. In addition gonad studies were conducted on fish landed at nearby Bir Ali, at the same times to identify the breeding cycles of commercially important fish species. The analysis identified the abundance of fish by species and location around Ras Balhaf, the dependence of the fishery on the health of the coral ecosystem and the linkages with the fisheries of the adjacent Al Ayn Bay, establishing baselines for monitoring to demonstrate the effectiveness of the environmental management measures being implemented by YLNG.