Red Sea Fish Ecology Project
About 1000 species of fish are known from the Red Sea. The Red Sea is classified as the fourth most important global coral-reef fish hotspot in terms of the percentage of endemic species. This estimation was based on 900 species from the most specious families, of which 114 species (12.7%) are endemic to the Red Sea (meaning they only occur in the Red Sea).
Coral reef fishes usually stand out in the highly diverse coral reef ecosystem because of their colors and activity. The coral reef provides fish with food and protection from predators. Most coral reef fishes have adapted in different ways to live on the reef. They also exhibit a huge variety of coloration. In some cases the colour patterns change to provide the fish with camouflage ability either to hunt or hide from predators; in other cases the change in colour is a method by which a female could choose her mate.
The body shapes of coral reef fishes also differ from those which live in the open water. While most of the open water fish bodies are designed for speed (torpedo shape). Coral reef fish bodies are designed to change direction quickly and hide between corals to avoid predation. The coral reef ecosystem provides its fish community with a variety of food items from which fish develop various feeding habits.
The goals of Red Sea Fish Ecology Project are:
• To introduce you to fish biology, their behaviour, feeding habits and their ecology. As well as to introduce you to the reef fish species and their role in the ecosystem.
• To raise awareness about the impact of overfishing as well as the sustainable and unsustainable fishing practices.
• To provide you with the opportunity to participate in citizen science programs to monitor reef fish and give you an overview of fisheries management in the Red Sea.