Saudi Arabia Unveils 20 “Blue Holes” Found in the Red Sea and Initiates Program for Research and Conservation

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, August 30, 2023— His Excellency the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Engineer Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Wildlife, unveiled a ground breaking discovery during a workshop organized by the Center. The discovery of “blue holes” in the Red Sea marks a significant milestone in marine exploration and conservation efforts.

The workshop, titled “Blue Holes in Saudi Arabia,” brought together renowned local and international experts, as well as specialized scientific bodies, to delve into the study of these unique marine ecosystems. The National Center for Wildlife will spearhead extensive research and conservation initiatives to protect these newfound treasures.

In 2022, over 20 blue holes were discovered along the southern Saudi coasts of the Red Sea. These awe-inspiring geological formations boast an exceptional biodiversity, serving as a sanctuary for marine creatures including sea turtles, fish, marine mammals, and invertebrates. The discovery of these blue holes presents an unprecedented opportunity to unlock the secrets and ecological significance of this untapped underwater world.

The CEO of the National Center for Wildlife, Dr. Mohammed Qurban, emphasized the importance of this discovery for both environmental preservation and sustainable tourism. By safeguarding these pristine environments, the Kingdom aligns with the Saudi Green Initiatives and its commitment to increase the percentage of protected areas to 30% of the nation’s territory by 2030.

Furthermore, the study and evaluation of the marine environments in the Red Sea contribute to the rehabilitation of affected areas, ensuring the long-term health and resilience of these delicate ecosystems. This discovery not only promises ecological benefits but also presents a unique opportunity for economic diversification through sustainable tourism.

The National Center for Wildlife, in collaboration with its partners, will conduct comprehensive studies, research, and risk assessments to better understand and protect these invaluable marine environments. The engagement of national researchers, employees, and esteemed international experts will propel the Kingdom toward adopting best scientific practices in the field of marine conservation.

As the Saudi government continues its dedication to environmental sustainability, the discovery of the blue holes in the Red Sea stands as a testament to the Kingdom’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage.