This book would never have been written or
reached publication without the enthusiastic encouragement
and assistance of Ahmed Yusuf Samdani of the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Environment of
Oman. Photographs of corals and zooxanthellae have generously been contributed, principally by Richard
Keech, but also by John Hoover, Rodney Salm and Jose Stirn. Dr Rodney Salm, whose pioneering work
on corals and coral reef management has provided much of our basic knowledge of Oman's coral
communities, generously agreed to write the foreword, for which I am most appreciative. This work has
benefited from discussions with Dr. Salm and with Rob Baldwin, who also has provided astute
observations on coral identification. Khamis Al Riyamy provided much able assistance in the field, and
Devika Coles prepared the drawing for Figure 1. Access to the coral collection at the Oman Natural
History Museum was provided by Mr Michael Gallagher. I wish to thank my wife and family for their
patience and support in this and other undertakings.
I am very grateful to my students
Dawoud Suleiman Al Yahyai and Khalifa Saif Al Kiyumi who have
so painstakingly translated this book into Arabic.
Finally. I can only but express
my thanks and deep appreciation to The National Bank of Oman, who
were extremely generous to support the publication of this book.
This book is dedicated to the
people of the Sultanate of Oman, both nationals and expatriates, who
have experienced or will experience the joy of diving or snorkelling on Oman's coral reefs. I hope that the
information in this book will add to their enjoyment and inform them of some of the aspects of the life of
the corals which form this unique and beautiful environment.