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The threats to the Mediterranean Sea

19 September 2010 No Comment

Hichem Boumedjout

Mediterranean_-_Cap_Bon

Cap Bon, TunisiaFourat / Creative Commons

Human activities, climate change and the invasion of alien species are threatening the rich marine life of the Mediterranean Sea more so than any other sea or ocean, according to a new study published in the Public Library of Science (PLOS).

The decade-long Census of Marine Life study, conducted by 360 researchers from 80 countries, is the largest global study of marine life ever undertaken. The researchers organized into 13 committees studying the world’s oceans and seas and the final results will be announced in London this October.

Habitat loss and degradation, compounded by overfishing, pollution, climate change, eutrophication, and invasion by alien species, pose the biggest threats to life in the Mediterranean.

Human activity in and around the sea threatens marine life in the Mediterranean more than any other of the oceans and seas surveyed. The land encompassing the Mediterranean has been inhabited by humans for thousands of years. More than 200 million tourists flock to its sunny beaches each year, increasing population density in the coastal areas.

Many factories and industrial plants on the banks of the the nearly enclosed sea dispose of their waste directly into its waters, causing destruction of many fragile coral habitats. Overfishing of certain species, such as the critically endangered bluefin tuna, further damages the ecosystem. Read more…

Source: Nature.com

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