Larval Trematode Diversity in Kuwait Bay

KUWAIT BAY

Kuwaiti Bay is the most prominent feature of the marine environment of Kuwait.

  • The Bay is an elliptically shaped bay that protrudes from the Arabian Gulf in westward direction at its northwestern corner.
  • It is of a moderate size (850 kmĀ²) with an average water depth of 5 m and a maximum depth of 20 m at the entrance (Al-Ghadban, 2004).
  • The northern shoreline is a pristine shore and the southern shores of the Bay hosts urban activities, i.e., ports and power and desalination plants.
  • The Bay is shallow, relatively well-sheltered and bordered by extensive inter-tidal mudflats created by the floodwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers which enter the north end of the Gulf through the Shatt Al-Arab waterway.
  • The intertidal zone is bound landward by a wide coastal Sabkha (low land occasionally flooded by water by high tide).
  • Strong tidal currents in the Bay provide good flushing of the water of the Bay and about 30% of the water of the bay is exchanged in a normal tidal cycle.
  • The water quality in Kuwait Bay is acceptable; dissolved oxygen levels are above the minimum accepted limits, biological oxygen demand is low, trace metal concentrations are also low, and pH values are within acceptable limits.

 BIODIVERSITY IN KUWAIT BAY

  • The Bay presents a unique ecosystem and a significant nursery ground for many species of fish, shrimp and crustacean.
  • The Bay is an important staging and wintering area for migratory waterfowl, and at least 70 bird species have been reported.
  • The Bay supports a thriving fishing industry and contains a site of an aquaculture facility production sea bream (Sparus auratus L.) (Glibert, et al., 2004).
  • The sabkha area in the Bay provides a secure roosting site for thousands of shorebirds and other waterfowl which feed on the adjacent mudflats at low tide.
  • The vast mudflats support a large population of mudskippers (Gobiidae) and crustaceans.
  • Crabs are extremely numerous; at least 13 species have been recorded.
  • The Bay is an important nursery area for crustaceans and a very important staging and wintering area for migratory waterfowl, occasionally holding over 20,000 birds including over 1 % of the regional populations of at least five species (Dromas ardeola, Calidris alpina, Tringa cinerea, Larus ridibundus and L. genei).
  • Islands in the vicinity of the Bay are nesting locations for migrating Green and Hawksbill turtles.

Copyright 2010, Kuwait University-College of Science - Dept. of Biological Sciences


Larval Trematode Diversity in Kuwait Bay