The coast is characterized by a high diversity of habitats, including sandy beaches, coastal dunes, coastal forests, swamp, inland lagoons in the south, mangrove forests, swampy depressions, estuaries, and a series of low beach ridges in the central region. The coast can be characterized into four major types: a) the coral coast with an area of approximately 770 km2; b) the mangrove coast extending 987 km from Angoche to the Bazaruto Archipelago; c) the delta coast which occur in the mouths of Zambezi and Save Rivers; and d) parabolic sand dune coast covering a distance of 850 km in the region between Bazaruto Archipelago and Ponta de Ouro.
The coral reefs of Mozambique form the southern part of the fringing reefs found along major sections of the continental shelf of the East African coast. The coral reefs are responsible for 70 per cent of fish catches and provide a vital nursery ground for many species of other commercially important marine species.
Mangroves cover a total area of 396,080ha stretching almost the entire coast of the country, mostly in sheltered shores and estuaries. There are thirteen species of seagrasses found in the South and North coastal region.
A total of 18 marine mammals, including dugong, dolphins and whales, are also found in the country. These include 3 species of migratory whales that breed in Mozambican waters, 2 species of dolphins, and dugong that feed on seagrass beds.
Mozambique hosts five species of marine turtles, including the green (Chelonia mydas), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).