Red Sea & Gulf of Aden

Countries included

Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen


Dr. Maher A. Amer
PERSGA Regional Coordinator of Biodiversity & MPAs Program

Regional Context


The countries of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden region correspond to PERSGA member states. The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA) is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the conservation of the coastal and marine environments in the region. The Regional Convention for the Conservation of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Environment (Jeddah Convention) 1982 provides the legal foundation for PERSGA. The Secretariat of the Organization was formally established in Jeddah following the Cairo Declaration of September 1995.

Importance of coral reefs

The Red Sea contains the most biologically diverse coral reef communities outside of Southeast Asia’s coral triangle. It shares many of the species found elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific, but approximately 10% of species are endemic, making this region one of the most valuable repositories for marine biodiversity in the world. Coral reefs within the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden region cover 13,605 km2, which is about 5.3% of the total global area of coral reefs.


The coral reef monitoring and status in the Red Sea & Gulf of Aden (PERSGA Region) has been undertaken using the umbrella of the Protocol that Concerning the Conservation of Biological Diversity and the Establishment of Network of Protected Areas in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (2005), Coral Reef Regional Action Plan & Jeddah Convention (1982).
In each PERSGA member states, there are a coral reef monitoring team, which regularly survey the coral reefs and associated biota in their coastal, submerged reefs and inside protected areas.
The PERSGA HQ has two programs, Biodiversity & MPAs Program and Sensitive Habitat & Monitoring Program. All these entities and programs work in harmonization for surveying and collecting reef data to produce SOMERs and coral reef status and trends along the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Keys numbers


Total area of coral reefs (km2)


Proportion of the world’s coral reefs


Countries with coral reefs


Marine Ecoregions of the World (MEOW) (i)

(i) Marine Ecoregions of the World (MEOW) is a biogeographic classification of the world’s coasts and shelves (Spalding et al., 2007).

Key figures from the 2020 report

Hard coral cover

Algae cover


  • 2020: PERSGA Standard Survey Methods for Key Habitats and Key Species in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden 2020 (in English & Arabic).
  • 2020: Published the 2nd version of “State of the Marine Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (SOMRSGA II) 2020”.
  • Planned: Prepare and update the management plans of Dungonab Bay & Mukkawar Island Nation Park (Sudan) and update the zoning plan of Wadi El-Gmal-Hamata National Park (Egypt).
Francesco Ungaro | Unsplash
Francesco Ungaro | Unsplash


Regional reports and guidelines from the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden