Ecosystem Reference
Ecosystem Somali Coastal Current
Type Sea/Bay/Gulf
Salinity saltwater
Other Names
LME SAU No 31. From Horn of Africa to southern Tanzania. LME2002, LME2006, SAU 2008. 11° N 1° S - 48° E 54° E
Location Map Somali_Coastal_Current.png
Size Ref
River Length Area 840343 km2 Drainage Area
Average Depth Max Depth Ref
Surface 27.2 °C Map131.gif
100 Meters Depth 22.2 °C Map132.gif
Description The Somali Current Ecosystem is a biotic region, with a wide variety of subsystems. These include coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, beaches, and estuaries (Okemwa, 1998). It encompasses 700,000 square kilometers (200,000 square nautical miles), and extends 800 km southwest to northeast along the east coast of Africa. It extends from the area near Dar-a-Salaam in the south to just north of the island of Socotra. In the north, it veers sharply to the west with the coastline, and occupies the southern part of the Gulf of Aden, and westward to the vicinity of Bab-el-Mandeb (Alexander, 1998). The adjacent African countries are Yemen, Somalia (in fact, Somalia's coastline represents almost 75% of the total length of the coast bordering the LME), Kenya, and Tanzania; and the islands of Madagascar, Runion, Mayotte, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Comoros. The Somali Current LME has unique bathymetry as a result of major submarine tectonic structures, including the mid-Indian Ridge, the Owen Fracture Zone, and the Carlsberg Ridge (Okemwa, 1998). Its surface circulation is strongly influenced by the seasonal monsoons. From November to April, during the Northeast Monsoon (NEM), the cyclonic gyre moves counterclockwise. During the Southwest Monsoon (SWM) from May to October, the surface gyre moves clockwise. The strongest upwelling off Somalia occurs during the SWM (Baars, Schalk, and Veldhuis, 1998). The rich diversity of many endemic plants and animals are both aesthetically and economically important with tourism and marine wildlife utilization (Okemwa, 1998) (
Comments on faunal list Area from SAU (November 2015).
Ecosystem Checklist Link
FishBase Literature
Species Families Species Families Reference
678 153
Sampang-Reyes, Arlene G. on 01.10.01
Modified by Bailly, Nicolas on 05.27.21
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