The Persian/Arabian Gulf is rich in marine biodiversity, and marine resources provide important ecosystem services to the people living within the region. However, the marine environment is also highly threatened, particularly by overexploitation of marine resources, oil and natural gas exploration and extraction, coastal development, and land reclamation.

Persian Gulf Epinephelus coioides. Photo credit: Friedhelm Krupp

As a first step to determining the conservation status of marine biodiversity in the Persian Gulf, we completed regional IUCN Red List assessments for all 457 marine bony fishes. Funded by the Qatar National Research Fund, we hosted one training and two assessment workshops in Doha, Qatar in November 2013 and February 2014. Five Marine Biodiversity Unit (MBU) staff facilitated the workshops that were attended by 41 experts, including participants from the region (Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) as well as from Australia, Japan, and the United States.

Workshop Photo - Nov 2013 Workshop Photo - Feb 2014

The full regional analyses are in progress, and should be completed by early 2016. Please contact the IUCN MBU ( for more information.

IUCN SSC Specialist Groups - Marine
Institutions - Persian Gulf