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Yemen's Socotra Archipelago new World Heritage

Yemen's Socotra Archipelago new World Heritage

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The Socotra Archipelago has been dubbed the Galápagos of the Indian Ocean. Here you find a diverse marine life. At the moment there is only one dive operator at the island, so this is still considered virgin diving.

As one of the eight new natural sites that have been added to the World Heritage List, following IUCN’s recommendations you find the Socotra Archipelago in Yemen. Socotra is a small archipelago of four islands and islets in the Indian Ocean off the coast of the Horn of Africa some 190 nautical miles (220 mi/350 km) south of the Arabian peninsula. It is a part of the 'Adan Governorate of the Republic of Yemen.

Known as the “Galápagos of the Indian Ocean,” Socotra is globally important for species conservation. Home to 825 plant species of which 307 (37 percent) can only be found on Socotra. And of its 34 species of reptiles, a staggering 90 percent can only be found on Socotra. The marine life of Socotra is also very diverse, with 253 species of reef-building corals, 730 species of coastal fish and 300 species of crab, lobster and shrimp.

“Socotra is of particular importance to the Horn of Africa biodiversity hotspot,” says David Sheppard, Head of IUCN’s Protected Areas Programme. “It is spectacularly rich in species which can only be found on this archipelago so it is easy to see why it has been called the Galápagos of the Indian Ocean.”

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Press releases from Divers Alert Network (DAN)