Species name: Seagrass
Scientific name: Angiosperms
Locally knows as: Mashurah
Description: Seagrasses have long, grass-like leaves as well as roots and stems, and are closely related to flowering plants. They are a highly productive ecosystem and provide shelter for numerous marine species.
IUCN status: Declining globally.
Key threats: Climate change, severe weather, biological resource use and pollution.
Where they're found today: Shallow salty and brackish waters across the world.
Abu Dhabi’s efforts: Seagrass is essential to the conservation of dugongs and Abu Dhabi is home to the second largest population of dugongs in the world. Therefore, in 2017, we launched the Dugong and Seagrass Research Toolkit, which is a collaboration between EAD, TOTAL, Total Abu Al Bukhoosh, the The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Dugong MOU and the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project. It represents a significant contribution to the techniques and tools available for dugong and seagrass conservation research globally.
- Seagrasses evolved around 100 million years ago, and today there are approximately 72 different seagrass species belonging to four major groups.
- Seagrasses can form dense underwater meadows, some of which are large enough to be seen from space.
- Seagrass beds are diverse and productive ecosystems, and can support hundreds of associated species – from juvenile and adult fish, to algae, mollusks, bristle worms, and nematodes – in addition to aiding against soil erosion, producing oxygen, sequestering carbon and improving water quality.