Saad ad-Din Islands
|Major islands||Saad ad-Din, Aibat|
|Ethnic groups||Somalis (Gadabuursi sub-clan)|
The Saad ad-Din Islands (Somali: Sacadin jasiiradaha, Arabic: سعد الدين إد جزر), also romanized as Saad-ed-din and known as the Zeila Archipelago, are group of islands off the northern coast of Somalia. They are situated near the ancient city of Zeila.
The name for the archipelago comes from the Somali Sultan Sa'ad ad-Din II who was killed by Emperor Yeshaq I of Abyssinia on the main island in 1415. Along with his name, there many different spelling for the island such as Saad ed Din, Saad-ed-din, and Saad-ad-Din. The archpeliogo is also known as the Zeila Archipelago and the Saad ad-Din group.
The Saad ad-Din archipelago is made of six small island all of which are low-lying and have sandy beaches. The largest of these islands are Saad ad-Din and Aibat which are six and nine miles off the coast of Zeila, respectively. There is also a lighthouse at Aibat.
The Saad ad-Din Islands are well known for their splendid coral reefs similar to those found on the southern coast of Oman. These reefs are the most diverse and well formed coral reefs on the coast of the Gulf of Aden and possibly the largest in the region. From provincial counts, ninety-nine different species of coral from forty-three different generas have been found on the islands.
There are also a hundred and thirty-two different species of coral fish found around the archipelago. Many of these species include those also found in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean.
The island of Saad ad-Din and Aibat (called Ceebaad in Somali) both are sites of major bird colonies. On the island of Saad ad-Din alone, there were more than 100,000 breeding pairs recorded.
Following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other NGO are working with local authorizes to establish protected areas and monitor fishers on the islands.
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