Socotra Archipelago, Yemen

Preview A Socotra cormorant dries its wings on the shore at the Socotra Archipelago in Yemen.

The Socotra Archipelago site in Yemen was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008. The marine life is diverse and includes 283 species of coral, 730 species of coastal fish, and 300 species of crab, lobster, and shrimp. Socotra also supports globally significant populations of sea birds, including a number of threatened species like the Socotra cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis) pictured here, as well as nesting sites for endangered loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles. Marine areas in Socotra are less degraded than most Indian Ocean reefs, and the archipelago itself is a major center of dispersal and replenishment for the surrounding seas.

Today, over 40 World Heritage sites are listed for their marine values. Together, they can be considered the “Crown Jewels of our Ocean” and are recognized for their outstanding beauty, exceptional biodiversity, or unique ecological, biological, or geological processes. Learn more about this and other marine World Heritage sites.