Oil company Saudi Aramco protects and enhances coral reefs

Oil company Saudi Aramco protects and enhances coral reefs

Saudi Aramco has deployed roughly 1,000 tons of artificial reefs throughout the Arabian Gulf to help rebuild marine ecosystems as well as support the local fisheries industry. Last year, artificial reefs were deployed at both Safaniyah and Al Khafji — 1,220 artificial reef units at Safaniyah and 459 units at Al Khafji.

This effort contributes to the company’s total deployment of over 2,728 artificial reefs — a number that will continue to rise — as more deployments are planned for the southern Red Sea.

At a higher level, partnerships with organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution have helped the company develop a deeper understanding of critical factors needed to ensure and promote conservation of biodiversity in Saudi Arabia, including artificial reefs.

Additionally, the Environmental Protection Department, in collaboration with the Saudi Aramco-KAUST Center for Marine Environmental Observations, presented a research paper on coral reef monitoring in the Red Sea during the 4th Asia-Pacific Coral Reef Symposium last year.

The symposium grouped participants from more than 30 countries to develop solutions to better manage coral reefs. Topics such as management of marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, coral transplantation, and nurseries are highly relevant to Saudi Aramco due to the amount of company activities near coral reefs and other valuable habitats.