A preliminary assessment of coral bleaching in Mozambique
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The 1997-1998 El Niño southern oscillation caused elevated sea temperatures that resulted in global coral bleaching. Coral reefs constitute an important biological resource in terms of their complex biodiversity and are the basis for tropical fisheries and marine ecotourism. They represent one of Mozambique’s main coastal assets, and coastal communities and the growing tourism industry rely mainly on reef-based resources. Today, about 6.6 million people live within Mozambique’s 48 coastal administrative districts. This represents 42% of the current population (15.7 million), which is expected to grow at 3% p.a. (INE, 1998). In 1994, the population density in coastal districts was 28 persons/km2. In 1996, much higher densities were recorded in the coastal cities: 1,525 persons/km2 in Maputo, 625 persons/ km2 in Beira and 409 persons/km2 in Nacala (Lopes).
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