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Persian Gulf
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{{short description|An arm of the Indian Ocean in western Asia}}{{About|the body of water}}{{pp|small=yes}}{{sprotect2}}







factoids
| type = Gulf| inflow = Gulf of Oman| outflow = | catchment = Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Oman (Musandam Governorate>exclave of Musandam)989abbr=on}}251000abbr=on}}50abbr=on}}90abbr=on}}}}The Persian Gulf () is a mediterranean sea in Western Asia. The body of water is an extension of the Indian Ocean (Gulf of Oman) through the Strait of Hormuz and lies between Iran to the northeast and the Arabian Peninsula to the southwest.United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names Working Paper No. 61 {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20121003154349weblink |date=2012-10-03 }}, 23rd Session, Vienna, 28 March – 4 April 2006. accessed October 9, 2010 The Shatt al-Arab river delta forms the northwest shoreline.The body of water is historically and internationally known as the "Persian Gulf".WEB, The World Fact Book, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),weblink 2010-12-04, yes,weblink 2012-02-03, WEB, Political Map of Iran, nationsonline.org,weblink 2010-12-04,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101127182747weblink">weblink 2010-11-27, no, WEB, United Nations Cartographic Section (Middle East Map), United Nations,weblink 2017-06-29,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20170630232206weblink">weblink 2017-06-30, no, Some Arab governments refer to it as the "Arabian Gulf" () or "The Gulf",Niusha Boghrati, Omission of 'Persian Gulf' Name Angers Iran {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20070109185735weblink |date=2007-01-09 }}, World Press.com, December 28, 2006 but neither term is recognized globally. The name "Gulf of Iran (Persian Gulf)" is used by the International Hydrographic Organization.WEB,weblink Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition, 1953, International Hydrographic Organization, 7 February 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20111008191433weblink">weblink 2011-10-08, no, The Persian Gulf was a battlefield of the 1980–1988 Iran–Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers. It is the namesake of the 1991 Gulf War, the largely air- and land-based conflict that followed Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.The Persian Gulf has many fishing grounds, extensive reefs (mostly rocky, but also coral), and abundant pearl oysters, but its ecology has been damaged by industrialization and oil spills.The Persian Gulf is in the Persian Gulf Basin, which is of Cenozoic origin and related to the subduction of the Arabian Plate under the Zagros Mountains.A Brief Tectonic History of the Arabian basin. Retrieved from the website:weblink {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180917004218weblink |date=2018-09-17 }} The current flooding of the basin started 15,000 years ago due to rising sea levels of the Holocene glacial retreat.NEWS,weblink A hot survivor, The Economist, 0013-0613, 2016-04-14,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160413090551weblink">weblink 2016-04-13, no,

Geography

{{See also|Eastern Arabia|Arab states of the Persian Gulf}}This inland sea of some {{convert|251000|km²|0|abbr=out}} is connected to the Gulf of Oman in the east by the Strait of Hormuz; and its western end is marked by the major river delta of the Shatt al-Arab, which carries the waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris. In Iran this is called "Arvand Rood", where "Rood" means "river". Its length is {{convert|989|km|0|abbr=off}}, with Iran covering most of the northern coast and Saudi Arabia most of the southern coast. The Persian Gulf is about {{convert|56|km|0|abbr=on}} wide at its narrowest, in the Strait of Hormuz. The waters are overall very shallow, with a maximum depth of {{convert|90|m|0|abbr=off}} and an average depth of {{convert|50|m|0|abbr=off}}.Countries with a coastline on the Persian Gulf are (clockwise, from the north): Iran; Oman's Musandam exclave; the United Arab Emirates; Saudi Arabia; Qatar, on a peninsula off the Saudi coast; Bahrain, on an island; Kuwait; and Iraq in the northwest. Various small islands also lie within the Persian Gulf, some of which are the subject of territorial disputes between the states of the region.

Extent

The International Hydrographic Organization defines the Persian Gulf's southern limit as "The Northwestern limit of Gulf of Oman". This limit is defined as "A line joining Ràs Limah (25°57'N) on the coast of Arabia and Ràs al Kuh (25°48'N) on the coast of Iran (Persia)".

Oceanography

Persian gulf is connected to the Indian Ocean through the Strait of Hormuz. Writing the water balance budget for the Persian Gulf, the inputs are river discharges from Iran and Iraq (estimated to be {{convert|2000|m3}} per second), as well as precipitation over the sea which is around {{convert|180|mm|in|abbr=on}}/year in Qeshm Island. The evaporation of the sea is high, so that after considering river discharge and rain contributions, there is still a deficit of {{convert|416|km3}} per year.JOURNAL, Pous, Stéphane, Lazure, Pascal, Carton, Xavier, A model of the general circulation in the Persian Gulf and in the Strait of Hormuz: Intraseasonal to interannual variability, Continental Shelf Research, 94, 55–70, 10.1016/j.csr.2014.12.008, 2015,weblink This difference is supplied by currents at the Strait of Hormuz. The water from the Persian Gulf has a higher salinity, and therefore exits from the bottom of the Strait, while ocean water with less salinity flows in through the top. Another study revealed the following numbers for water exchanges for the Persian Gulf: evaporation = -{{convert|1.84|m|ft|abbr=on}}/year, precipitation = {{convert|0.08|m|ft|abbr=on}}/year, inflow from the Strait = {{convert|33.66|m|ft|abbr=on}}/year, outflow from the Strait = -{{convert|32.11|m|ft|abbr=on}}/year, and the balance is 0 m (0 ft)/year.JOURNAL, Xue, Pengfei, Eltahir, Elfatih A. B., 2015-01-29, Estimation of the Heat and Water Budgets of the Persian (Arabian) Gulf Using a Regional Climate Model, Journal of Climate, 28, 13, 5041–5062, 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00189.1, 0894-8755, 10.1.1.714.254, Data from different 3D computational fluid mechanics models, typically with spatial resolution of {{convert|3|km}} and depth each element equal to {{convert|1|–|10|m|ft}} are predominantly used in computer models.

Oil and gas

{{See also|Strait of Hormuz}}File:Oil and Gas Infrastructure Persian Gulf (large).gif|thumb|Oil and gas pipelines and fields]]The Persian Gulf and its coastal areas are the world's largest single source of petroleum, BOOK, Encyclopedia of World Trade: From Ancient Times to the Present, Northrup, Cynthia Clark, Routledge, 2013, London, UK, Credo Reference, and related industries dominate the region. Safaniya Oil Field, the world's largest offshore oilfield, is located in the Persian Gulf. Large gas finds have also been made, with Qatar and Iran sharing a giant field across the territorial median line (North Field in the Qatari sector; South Pars Field in the Iranian sector). Using this gas, Qatar has built up a substantial liquefied natural gas (LNG) and petrochemical industry.In 2002, the Persian Gulf nations of Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE produced about 25% of the world's oil, held nearly two-thirds of the world's crude oil reserves, and about 35% of the world's natural gas reserves.WEB, Persian Gulf Oil and Gas Exports Fact Sheet (U.S. Department of Energy), Persian Gulf Online, March 4, 2011,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090714233158weblink">weblink July 14, 2009, WEB, Persian Gulf Oil and Gas Export Fact Sheet, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), EIA/DOE (Energey Information Administration/Department of Energy),weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110102032341weblink">weblink January 2, 2011, The oil-rich countries (excluding Iraq) that have a coastline on the Persian Gulf are referred to as the Persian Gulf States. Iraq's egress to the Persian gulf is narrow and easily blockaded consisting of the marshy river delta of the Shatt al-Arab, which carries the waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers, where the east bank is held by Iran.

Name

File:Persian Gulf map.png|upright=1.35|right|thumb|Map of the Persian Gulf. The Gulf of Oman leads to the Arabian Sea. Detail from (:File:MiddleEast.png|larger map of the Middle East).]]In 550 BC, the Achaemenid Empire established the first ancient empire in Persis (Pars, or modern Fars), in the southwestern region of the Iranian plateau. Consequently, in the Greek sources, the body of water that bordered this province came to be known as the "Persian Gulf".JOURNAL, Touraj Daryaee, The Persian Gulf Trade in Late Antiquity, Journal of World History, 14, 1, 2003,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130805010657weblink">weblink August 5, 2013, During the years 550 to 330 BC, coinciding with the sovereignty of the Achaemenid Persian Empire over the Middle East area, especially the whole part of the Persian Gulf and some parts of the Arabian Peninsula, the name of "Pars Sea" is widely found in the compiled written texts.In the travel account of Pythagoras, several chapters are related to description of his travels accompanied by the Achaemenid king Darius the Great, to Susa and Persepolis, and the area is described. From among the writings of others in the same period, there is the inscription and engraving of Darius the Great, installed at junction of waters of Red Sea and the Nile river and the Rome river (current Mediterranean) which belongs to the 5th century BC where Darius the Great has named the Persian Gulf Water Channel: "Pars Sea" ("Persian Sea"). King Darius says:WEB,weblink DZ – Livius, www.livius.org, 2019-03-28, Considering the historical background of the name Persian Gulf, Sir Arnold Wilson mentions in a book published in 1928 that "no water channel has been so significant as Persian Gulf to the geologists, archaeologists, geographers, merchants, politicians, excursionists, and scholars whether in past or in present. This water channel which separates the Iran Plateau from the Arabia Plate, has enjoyed an Iranian Identity since at least 2200 years ago."Before being given its present name, the Persian Gulf was called many different names. The classical Greek writers, like Herodotus, called it "the Red Sea". In Babylonian texts, it was known as "the sea above Akkad".{{citation needed|date=December 2016}}

Naming dispute

File:Persian-gulf-dubai-mus.JPG|thumb|upright=1.35|A historical map of the Persian Gulf in (Sheikh Saeed House|a Dubai museum]] with the word Persian removedWEB, Gulf renamed in aversion to 'Persian', K Darbandi, Asia Times,weblink Oct 27, 2007, 2010-11-30,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101127021451weblink">weblink 2010-11-27, no, WEB, All at sea over 'the Gulf', Mahan Abedin, Asia Times,weblink Dec 9, 2004, 2010-11-30,weblink 2016-05-21, no, )The name of this gulf, historically and internationally known as the Persian Gulf after the land of Persia (Iran), has been disputed by some Arab countries since the 1960s.JOURNAL, Security Considerations in the Persian Gulf, International Security, Fall 1980, Eilts, Hermann, Hermann Eilts, 5, 2, 79–113, 10.2307/2538446, 2538446, Rivalry between Iran and some Arab states, along with the emergence of pan-Arabism and Arab nationalism, has seen the name Arabian Gulf become predominant in most Arab countries.NEWS, Abedin, Mahan,weblink All at Sea over 'the Gulf', Asia Times Online, December 4, 2004, no,weblink 2016-05-21, BOOK, Bosworth, C. Edmund, 1980, The Nomenclature of the Persian Gulf, xvii–xxxvi, Cottrell, Alvin J., The Persian Gulf States: A General Survey, Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins University Press, Not until the early 1960s does a major new development occur with the adoption by the Arab states bordering on the Persian Gulf of the expression al-Khalij al-Arabi as weapon in the psychological war with Iran for political influence in the Persian Gulf; but the story of these events belongs to a subsequent chapter on modern political and diplomatic history of the Persian Gulf. (p. xxxiii.), Clifford Edmund Bosworth, Names beyond these two have also been applied to or proposed for this body of water.

History

Ancient history

(File:Qeshm Museum-Iran 2018.jpg|thumb|left|upright|Diorama of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers at Qeshm Island)(File:NE 565ad.jpg|right|thumb|Picture depicting extent of early civilizations around the Persian Gulf, including Lackhmids, and Sassanids.)File:Map of the Achaemenid Empire.jpg|thumb|Picture depicting the Achaemenid Persian empire in relation to the Persian Gulf.]]File:Ras Al Khaimah by Charles Hamilton Smith.jpg|thumb|A painting depicting the British Expeditionary Force off the coast of Ras Al KhaimahRas Al KhaimahFile:Earnest Will Gas King.jpg|thumb|Operation Earnest Will: Tanker convoy No. 12 under US Navy escort in October 1987]]File:Iran Air 655 Strait of hormuz 80.jpg|thumb|upright|Locater map depicting Iran Air Flight 655Iran Air Flight 655Earliest evidence of human presence on Persian Gulf islands dates back to Middle Paleolithic and consist of stone tools discovered at Qeshm IslandNEWS,weblink Iranian Archaeologists Uncover Paleolithic Stone Tools on Qeshm Island – Tasnim News Agency, Tasnim News Agency, 2018-07-09, en,weblink 2018-07-09, no, .The world's oldest known civilization (Sumer) developed along the Persian Gulf and southern Mesopotamia. The shallow basin that now underlies the Persian Gulf was an extensive region of river valley and wetlands during the transition between the end of the Last Glacial Maximum and the start of the Holocene, which, according to University of Birmingham archaeologist Jeffrey Rose, served as an environmental refuge for early humans during periodic hyperarid climate oscillations, laying the foundations for the legend of Dilmun.JOURNAL, New Light on Human Prehistory in the Arabo-Persian Gulf Oasis, Current Anthropology, December 2010, Rose, Jeffrey I., 51, 6, 849–883, 10.1086/657397,weblink For most of the early history of the settlements in the Persian Gulf, the southern shores were ruled by a series of nomadic tribes. During the end of the fourth millennium BC, the southern part of the Persian Gulf was dominated by the Dilmun civilization. For a long time the most important settlement on the southern coast of the Persian Gulf was Gerrha. In the 2nd century the Lakhum tribe, who lived in what is now Yemen, migrated north and founded the Lakhmid Kingdom along the southern coast. Occasional ancient battles took place along the Persian Gulf coastlines, between the Sassanid Persian empire and the Lakhmid Kingdom, the most prominent of which was the invasion led by Shapur II against the Lakhmids, leading to Lakhmids' defeat, and advancement into Arabia, along the southern shore lines.BOOK,weblink E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam 1913–1936, M. Th. Houtsma, 2010-11-26, 978-90-04-09796-4, 1993, During the 7th century the Sassanid Persian empire conquered the whole of the Persian Gulf, including southern and northern shores.Between 625 BC and 226 AD, the northern side was dominated by a succession of Persian empires including the Median, Achaemenid, Seleucid and Parthian empires. Under the leadership of the Achaemenid king Darius the Great (Darius I), Persian ships found their way to the Persian Gulf.BOOK, Shadows in the desert: ancient Persia at war, Kaveh Farrokh, Osprey Publishing, 2007, 68,weblink 978-1-84603-108-3, Persian naval forces laid the foundation for a strong Persian maritime presence in Persian Gulf, that started with Darius I and existed until the arrival of the British East India Company, and the Royal Navy by mid-19th century AD. Persians were not only stationed on islands of the Persian Gulf, but also had ships often of 100 to 200 capacity patrolling empire's various rivers including Shatt-al-Arab, Tigris, and the Nile in the west, as well as Sind waterway, in India.The Achaemenid high naval command had established major naval bases located along Shatt al-Arab river, Bahrain, Oman, and Yemen. The Persian fleet would soon not only be used for peacekeeping purposes along the Shatt al-Arab but would also open the door to trade with India via Persian Gulf.BOOK, From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire, Pierre Briant, Eisenbrauns, 2006, 761,weblink 978-1-57506-120-7, Following the fall of Achaemenid Empire, and after the fall of the Parthian Empire, the Sassanid empire ruled the northern half and at times the southern half of the Persian Gulf. The Persian Gulf, along with the Silk Road, were important trade routes in the Sassanid empire. Many of the trading ports of the Persian empires were located in or around Persian Gulf. Siraf, an ancient Sassanid port that was located on the northern shore of the Persian gulf, located in what is now the Iranian province of Bushehr, is an example of such commercial port. Siraf, was also significant in that it had a flourishing commercial trade with China by the 4th century, having first established connection with the far east in 185 AD.WEB,weblink Siraf, British Institute of Persian Studies, 2010-11-24,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110716111330weblink">weblink 2011-07-16, no,

Colonial era

{{See also|British Residency of the Persian Gulf}}File:Hormuz fort-Correia.png|thumb|left|The Portuguese Castle on Hormuz Island (Gaspar CorreiaGaspar CorreiaPortuguese expansion into the Indian Ocean in the early 16th century following Vasco da Gama's voyages of exploration saw them battle the Ottomans up the coast of the Persian Gulf. In 1521, a Portuguese force led by commander Antonio Correia invaded Bahrain to take control of the wealth created by its pearl industry. On April 29, 1602, Shāh Abbās, the Persian emperor of the Safavid Persian Empire expelled the Portuguese from Bahrain,JOURNAL, Juan R. I. Cole, Rival Empires of Trade and Imami Shiism in Eastern Arabia, 1300–1800, 163353, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 19, 2, 1987, 177–203 [186], 10.1017/s0020743800031834, and that date is commemorated as National Persian Gulf day in Iran.WEB,weblink February 5, 2012, {{dead link|date=June 2016|bot=medic}}{{cbignore|bot=medic}},IRIB, With the support of the British fleet, in 1622 'Abbās took the island of Hormuz from the Portuguese; much of the trade was diverted to the town of Bandar 'Abbās, which he had taken from the Portuguese in 1615 and had named after himself. The Persian Gulf was therefore opened by Persians to a flourishing commerce with the Portuguese, Dutch, French, Spanish and the British merchants, who were granted particular privileges.The Ottoman Empire reasserted itself into Eastern Arabia in 1871.Rahman 1979, pp. 138–139 Under military and political pressure from the governor of the Ottoman Vilayet of Baghdad, Midhat Pasha, the ruling Al Thani tribe submitted peacefully to Ottoman rule.JOURNAL, Rogan, Eugene, November 1999, Review of The Ottoman Gulf: The Creation of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar by Frederick F. Anscombe; The Blood-Red Arab Flag: An Investigation into Qasimi Piracy, 1797–1820 by Charles E. Davies; The Politics of Regional Trade in Iraq, Arabia and the Gulf, 1745–1900 by Hala Fattah, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 26, 2, 339–342, 195948, 10.1080/13530199908705688, Murphey, Rhoads, Masalha, Nur, Durac, Vincent, Hinnebusch, Raymond, The Ottomans were forced to withdraw from the area with the start of World War I and the need for troops in various other frontiers.WEB,weblink Shaikh Abdullah Bin Jassim Al Thani – Amiri Diwan, Amiri Diwan, 7 March 2018,weblink 2018-03-07, no, In World War II, the Western Allies used Iran as a conduit to transport military and industrial supply to the USSR, through a pathway known historically as the "Persian Corridor". Britain utilized the Persian Gulf as the entry point for the supply chain in order to make use of the Trans-Iranian Railway.BOOK, Command Decisions, Martin Blumenson, Robert W. Coakley, Stetson Conn, Byron Fairchild, Richard M. Leighton, Charles V.P. von Luttichau, Martin Blumenson, Robert W. Coakley, Stetson Conn, Byron Fairchild, Richard M. Leighton, Charles V.P. von Luttichau, Charles B. MacDonald, Sidney T. Mathews, Maurice Matloff, Ralph S. Mavrogordato, Leo J. Meyer, John Miller, Jr., Louis Morton, Forrest C. Pogue, Roland G. Ruppenthal, Robert Ross Smith, Earl F. Ziemke, Government Printing Office, 225,weblink 1960, The Persian Gulf therefore became a critical maritime path through which the Allies transported equipment to Soviet Union against the Nazi invasion.BOOK, The Persian Corridor and aid to Russia, Volume 7, Part 1, T. H. Vail Motter, Office of the Chief of Military History, Dept. of the Army, 1952,weblink The piracy in the Persian Gulf was prevalent until the 19th century. Many of the most notable historical instances of piracy were perpetrated by the Al Qasimi tribe. This led to the British mounting the Persian Gulf campaign of 1819.WEB,weblink Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed al-Qasimi obituary, The Guardian, 1 November 2010, The campaign led to the signing of the General Maritime Treaty of 1820 between the British and the Sheikhs of what was then known as the 'Pirate Coast'.From 1763 until 1971, the British Empire maintained varying degrees of political control over some of the Persian Gulf states, including the United Arab Emirates (originally called the Trucial States)BOOK,weblink Trucial States, Donald Hawley, 172, 2010-11-19, 978-0-04-953005-8, 1970, Donald Hawley, and at various times Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar through the British Residency of the Persian Gulf.

Modern history

The United States' role in the Persian Gulf grew in the second half of the Twentieth Century.BOOK,weblink The Persian Gulf in History, Potter, L., 2009-01-05, Springer, 9780230618459, en, The United Kingdom maintains a profile in the region; in 2006 alone, over 1 million British nationals visited Dubai.NEWS,weblink Blair was dangerously off target in his condemnation of Iran, Beaumont, Peter, December 23, 2006, The Guardian,weblink 2016-07-30, no, Guardian Media Group, London, Peter Beaumont (journalist), NEWS,weblink Classified document on Bahrain rankles Britain decades later, 22 May 2015, 22 May 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150522234559weblink">weblink 2015-05-22, no, Reuters, The case shows how alive the history of British colonial rule still is in the Gulf today, In 2018, the UK opened a permanent military base, {{HMS|Jufair}}, in the Persian Gulf, the first since it withdrew from East of Suez in 1971 and is developing a support facility in Oman.NEWS,weblink UK to establish £15m permanent Mid East military base, December 6, 2014, 2018-06-21,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20171124233435weblink">weblink 2017-11-24, no, BBC, WEB,weblink East of Suez, West from Helmand: British Expeditionary Force and the next SDSR, December 2014, Oxford Research Group,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150702074143weblink">weblink 2 July 2015, yes, 22 May 2015, dmy-all, WEB,weblink The UK in Oman – A new support facility for the British Armed Forces, Tossini, J. Vitor, 2018-02-20, UK Defence Journal, en-GB, 2019-04-10,

Islands

{{See also|List of islands in the Persian Gulf}}The Persian Gulf is home to many islands such as Bahrain, an Arab state. Geographically the biggest island in the Persian Gulf is Qeshm island located in the Strait of Hormuz and belongs to Iran. Other significant islands in the Persian Gulf include Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Kish administered by Iran, Bubiyan administered by Kuwait, Tarout administered by Saudi Arabia, and Dalma administered by UAE. In recent years, there has also been addition of artificial islands for tourist attractions, such as The World Islands in Dubai and The Pearl-Qatar in Doha. Persian Gulf islands are often also historically significant, having been used in the past by colonial powers such as the Portuguese and the British in their trade or as acquisitions for their empires.WEB,weblink Portuguese in the Arabia and the Persian Gulf, Marco Ramerini, 2010-11-27, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150911015234weblink">weblink 2015-09-11,

Cities and population

Eight nations have coasts along the Persian Gulf: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The Persian gulf's strategic location has made it an ideal place for human development over time. Today, many major cities of the Middle East are located in this region.{||File:Dhow in the fjords of Khasab, Oman - panoramio.jpg|Khasab, Musandam, OmanFile:Downtown Burj Dubai and Business Bay, seen from Safa Park.jpg|Dubai, UAEFile:Abu Dhabi Skyline fron Corniche Rd.JPG|Abu Dhabi City, UAEFile:Doha corniche view (2).jpg|Doha, QatarFile:Bahrain World trade Center .jpg|Manama, BahrainFile:Khobar At night.jpg|Khobar City, Saudi ArabiaFile:Kuwait City.jpg|Kuwait City, KuwaitFile:Basrah faw shat alarab.jpg|Al-Faw, IraqFile:Bandarabbas-sahel-2.jpg|Bandar Abbas, Iran

Wildlife

{{see also|Gulf of Oman desert and semi-desert}}The wildlife of the Persian Gulf is diverse, and entirely unique due to the Persian gulf's geographic distribution and its isolation from the international waters only breached by the narrow Strait of Hormuz. The Persian Gulf has hosted some of the most magnificent marine fauna and flora, some of which are near extirpation or at serious environmental risk. From corals, to dugongs, Persian Gulf is a diverse cradle for many species who depend on each other for survival. However, the Persian gulf is not as biologically diverse as the Red Sea.Pernetta, John. (2004). Guide to the Oceans. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, Inc. p. 205. {{ISBN|978-1-55297-942-6}}.Overall, the wild life of the Persian Gulf is endangered from both global factors, and regional, local negligence. Most pollution is from ships; land generated pollution counts as the second most common source of pollution.WEB,weblink Pollution in Persian Gulf, Morteza Aminmansour/Pars Times, 2010-11-24,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101126155602weblink">weblink 2010-11-26, no,

Aquatic mammals

{{Weasel|date=July 2015}}Along the mediterranean regions of the Arabian Sea, including the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Kutch, the Gulf of Suez, the Gulf of Aqaba, the Gulf of Aden, and the Gulf of Oman, dolphins and finless porpoises are the most common marine mammals in the waters, while larger whales and orcas are rarer today.Dr. Gheilani A.M.H. Whales and Dolphins in Arabian Sea: Arabian Sea Survey (2007–2008) {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20141217053450weblink |date=2014-12-17 }}. The Marine Science and Fisheries Center in the Ministry of Fisheries Wealth. Retrieved on December 17, 2014 Historically, whales had been abundant in the Persian gulf before commercial hunts wiped them out.Jongbloed M. Whales and dolphins in the Gulf {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20141217050416weblink |date=2014-12-17 }}. Al Shindagha. Retrieved on December 17, 2014Jackson J. 2006. Diving with Giants. pp.59. New Holland Publishers Ltd. Retrieved on December 17, 2014 Whales were reduced even further by illegal mass hunts by the Soviet Union and Japan in the 1960s and 1970s.Clapham P., Ivashchenko Y. Marine Fisheries Review. Retrieved on December 17, 2014 Along with Bryde's whales,Lambros M.. Whale Watching In Kuwait {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170921001141weblink |date=2017-09-21 }}. LIVIN Q8. Retrieved on September 21, 2017Burahmah
I.. 2013. Whale seen in kuwait seas. YouTube. Retrieved on September 21, 2017جرائم ومحاكم. 2015. حوت يسبح قرب أبراج الكويت. Youtube. Retrieved on September 21, 2017Khalaf N.. 2014. The 24-meters Blue Whale Skeleton at the Educational Science Museum in Kuwait City, State of Kuwait {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20171019022514weblink |date=2017-10-19 }}. issuu. Retrieved on September 21, 2017 these once common residents can still can be seen in deeper marginal seas such as Gulf of Aden,WEB,weblink PBS – The Voyage of the Odyssey – Track the Voyage – Maldives, 2017-09-03,weblink 2017-10-19, no, Israel coastsweblink and in the Strait of Hormuz.WEB,weblink ホルムズ海峡でGTフィッシング②, 茂木陽一, 2016-02-26,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160310104940weblink">weblink 2016-03-10, no, Other species such as the critically endangered Arabian humpback whale,Minton G.. 2017. Pre-print manuscript published on humpback whales in the Persian Gulf. Arabian Sea Whale Network. Retrieved on September 21, 2017 (also historically common in Gulf of AdenWEB, Articles/meps, pdf,weblink www.int-res.com, and increasingly sighted in the Red Sea since 2006, including in the Gulf of Aqaba), omura's whale,BIORXIV, Sharif Ranjbar S., Dakhteh S.M., Waerebeek V.K., 2016, Omura's whale (Balaenoptera omurai ) stranding on Qeshm Island, Iran: further evidence for a wide (sub)tropical distribution, including the Persian Gulf, 042614, Babu R. 2017. Whale tracing us in a boat at Kuwait sea area. Youtube. Retrieved on September 21, 2017 minke whale, and orca also swim into the Persian gulf, while many other large species such as blue whale,WEB, Imisdocs/publications, pdf,weblink www.vliz.be, 2016-02-26,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160305040958weblink">weblink 2016-03-05, no, sei,Hoath R.. 2009. A Field Guide to the Mammals of Egypt. pp.112. The American University in Cairo Press. Retrieved on February 26. 2016 and sperm whales were once migrants into the Gulf of Oman and off the coasts in deeper waters,Dr. Perrin F.W., Koch C.C. 2007. Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals. pp.611. Academic Press. Retrieved on December 17, 2014 and still migrate into the Red Sea,WEB,weblink Yemen, 2016-02-26,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160307081229weblink">weblink 2016-03-07, no, but mainly in deeper waters of outer seas. In 2017, waters of the Persian Gulf along Abu Dhabi were revealed to hold the world's largest population of Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphins.WAM.
2017. Abu Dhabi has world’s largest population of humpback dolphins {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170921001601weblink |date=2017-09-21 }}. Emirates 24/7. Retrieved on September 21, 2017Gulf News. 2017. Abu Dhabi proves a haven for humpback dolphins {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170920191453weblink |date=2017-09-20 }}. Retrieved on September 21, 2017Sanker A..
2017. Abu Dhabi leads world in humpback dolphin numbers {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170921000950weblink |date=2017-09-21 }}. Khaleej Times. Retrieved on September 21, 2017
One of the more unusual marine mammals living in the Persian Gulf is the dugong (Dugong dugon). Also called "sea cows", for their grazing habits and mild manner resembling livestock, dugongs have a life expectancy similar to that of humans and they can grow up to {{convert|3|m|abbr=off}} in length. These gentle mammals feed on sea grass and are closer relatives of certain land mammals than are dolphins and whales.WEB,weblink Case Study, American.edu, 2009-07-10, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090624134459weblink">weblink June 24, 2009, Their simple grass diet is negatively affected by new developments along the Persian Gulf coastline, particularly the construction of artificial islands by Arab states and pollution from oil spills caused during the "Persian Gulf war" and various other natural and artificial causes. Uncontrolled hunting has also had a negative impact on the survival of dugongs. After Australian waters, which are estimated to contain some 80,000 dugong inhabitants, the waters off Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, and Saudi Arabia make the Persian Gulf the second most important habitat for the species, hosting some 7,500 remaining dugongs. However, the current number of dugongs is dwindling and it is not clear how many are currently alive or what their reproductive trend is.WEB,weblink Persian Gulf Mermaids Face Environmental Threats, Maurice Picow, 2010-03-04, 2010-11-19,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110114092625weblink">weblink 2011-01-14, no, Unfortunately, ambitious and uncalculated construction schemes, political unrest, ever-present international conflict, the most lucrative world supply of oil, and the lack of cooperation between Arab states and Iran, have had a negative impact on the survival of many marine species, including dugongs.

Birds

The Persian Gulf is also home to many migratory and local birds. There is great variation in color, size, and type of the bird species that call the Persian gulf home. Concerns regarding the endangerment of the kalbaensis subspecies of the collared kingfishers were raised by conservationists due to real state development by the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Estimates from 2006 showed that only three viable nesting sites were available for this ancient bird, one located {{convert|80|mi|0|abbr=out}} from Dubai, and two smaller sites in Oman. Such real estate expansion could prove devastating to this subspecies. A UN plan to protect the mangroves as a biological reserve was ignored by the emirate of Sharjah, which allowed the dredging of a channel that bisects the wetland and construction of an adjacent concrete walkway. Environmental watchdogs in Arabia are few, and those that do advocate the wildlife are often silenced or ignored by developers of real estate many of whom have governmental connections.Real estate development in the Persian Gulf by the United Arab Emirates and Oman also raised concerns that habitats of species such as the hawksbill turtle, greater flamingo, and booted warbler may be destroyed.WEB,weblink Turtles Rehabilitated After Persian Gulf Oil Spills, Tim Thomas, Ian Robinson, yes, 2001, 2010-11-23,weblink" title="archive.is/20120910183528weblink">weblink 2012-09-10, no, The dolphins that frequent the Persian gulf in northern waters around Iran are also at risk. Recent statistics and observations show that dolphins are at danger of entrapment in purse seine fishing nets and exposure to chemical pollutants; perhaps the most alarming sign is the "mass suicides" committed by dolphins off Iran's Hormozgan province, which are not well understood, but are suspected to be linked with a deteriorating marine environment from water pollution from oil, sewage, and industrial run offs.WEB, Dolphins of Persian Gulf are in danger, Mandana Javidinejad, Payvand News Agency, 2007, December 25, 2010,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110629095910weblink">weblink 2011-06-29, no, WEB, Iran: Spill, Dolphin Deaths Spark Alarm At Persian Gulf Pollution, Vahid Sepehri, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, October 3, 2007, December 25, 2010,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110114055950weblink">weblink 2011-01-14, no,

Fish and reefs

The Persian Gulf is home to over 700 species of fish, most of which are native.WEB,weblink Fish Species in Persian Gulf, Jen/fishbase.org, 2003-06-30, 2010-11-24,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100702044308weblink">weblink 2010-07-02, no, Of these 700 species, more than 80% are reef associated. These reefs are primarily rocky, but there are also a few coral reefs. Compared to the Red Sea, the coral reefs in the Persian Gulf are relatively few and far between.BOOK, Debelius, H., Indian Ocean Tropical Fish Guide, 1993, Aquaprint Verlag GmbH, 5, 3-927991-01-5, JOURNAL, Emery K.O., Sediments and water of the Persian Gulf, 1956, Bull AAPG, 401, 2354–2383, 10.1038/srep04250, 3945051, 24603901, JOURNAL, Pohl; Al-Muqdadi; Ali; Fawzi; Ehrlich; and Merkel, Discovery of a living coral reef in the coastal waters of Iraq, 2014, Sci. Rep., 4, 4250, 10.1038/srep04250, 3945051, 24603901, This is primarily connected to the influx of major rivers, especially the Shatt al-Arab (Euphrates and Tigris), which carry large amounts of sediment (most reef-building corals require strong light) and causes relatively large variations in temperature and salinity (corals in general are poorly suited to large variations). Nevertheless, coral reefs have been found along sections of coast of all countries in the Persian gulf. Corals are vital ecosystems that support multitude of marine species, and whose health directly reflects the health of the Persian gulf. Recent years have seen a drastic decline in the coral population in the Persian gulf, partially owing to global warming but majorly due to irresponsible dumping by Arab states like the UAE and Bahrain.WEB,weblink Dumping by Construction Crews Killing Bahrain Coral, Maurice Picow, 2010-06-16, 2010-11-19,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101031214259weblink">weblink 2010-10-31, no, Construction garbage such as tires, cement, and chemical by products have found their way to the Persian Gulf in recent years. Aside from direct damage to the coral, the construction waste creates "traps" for marine life in which they are trapped and die. The end result has been a dwindling population of the coral, and as a result a decrease in number of species that rely on the corals for their survival.

Flora

A great example of this symbiosis are the mangroves in the Persian gulf, which require tidal flow and a combination of fresh and salt water for growth, and act as nurseries for many crabs, small fish, and insects; these fish and insects are the source of food for many of the marine birds that feed on them.WEB,weblink Development in Persian Gulf Threatens Wildlife, 2008-06-30, Jim Krane, July 3, 2006, Discovery Channel, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060923035904weblink">weblink 2006-09-23, Mangroves are a diverse group of shrubs and trees belonging to the genus Avicennia or Rhizophora that flourish in the salt water shallows of the Persian gulf, and are the most important habitats for small crustaceans that dwell in them. They are as crucial an indicator of biological health on the surface of the water, as the corals are to biological health of the Persian gulf in deeper waters. Mangroves' ability to survive the salt water through intricate molecular mechanisms, their unique reproductive cycle, and their ability to grow in the most oxygen-deprived waters have allowed them extensive growth in hostile areas of the Persian gulf.WEB,weblink Mangals, SunySB, 2010-11-23,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101206074225weblink">weblink 2010-12-06, no, JOURNAL, Expression of mangrove allene oxide cyclase enhances salt tolerance in Escherichia coli, yeast, and tobacco cells, Plant and Cell Physiology, Fall 1980, Yamada, Akiyo, Saitoh, Takeo, Mimura, Tetsuro, Ozeki, Yoshihiro, 43, 8, 903–910, 10.1093/pcp/pcf108,weblink However, with the advent of artificial island development, most of their habitat is destroyed, or occupied by man-made structures. This has had a negative impact on the crustaceans that rely on the mangrove, and in turn on the species that feed on them.

Gallery

File:Dugong.jpg|Dugong mother and her offspring in shallow waterFile:HengamDolphins.jpg|Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins off the southern shore of Iran, around Hengam IslandFile:Dolphins Oman.JPG|Spinner dolphins leaping in the Persian gulfFile:The-Worlds-Most-Isolated-and-Distinct-Whale-Population-Humpback-Whales-of-the-Arabian-Sea-pone.0114162.s001.tif|Critically endangered Arabian humpback whales (being the most isolated, and the only resident population in the world) off Dhofar, OmanFile:Nakhl-Minoo.jpg|Palm and sunset in Minoo Island

See also

References

{{Reflist|30em}}

External links

{{Wiktionary}}{{Wikivoyage}}{{Commons category|Persian Gulf}}

Videos
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