The Mediterranean becomes one of the world’s most polluted seas

Geneva, Feb 8 (EFE).- The Mediterranean has become one of the most plastic-polluted seas on the planet, a World Wide Fund for Nature report said Tuesday.

The large accumulation of microplastics is leaving a serious impact on the Mediterranean sea, as well as threatening the survival of 134 species, including turtles, seals and whales.

“There are indicators that the entire Mediterranean ecosystem is practically affected by plastic pollution, and this, in the long term, can have adverse consequences on human health and the economy of the communities depending on fishing,” WWF manager Eirik Lindebjerg told Efe.

According to the report, the Mediterranean is among the pollution hotspots that have exceeded the threshold level of microplastic concentrations, which could lead to “significant ecological risks.”

Lindebjerg stressed that more than 100 species in the Mediterranean are victims of plastic pollution, adding that sea turtles and seabirds are among the most affected animals due to the ingestion of these materials.

On the possible impacts on the fishing industry, the expert pointed out that although there is no conclusive evidence that eating fish from the Mediterranean is harmful to health yet, the destruction of ecosystems poses a considerable economic risk to the communities that depend on fishing.

“The long-term effects of plastic pollution are still unknown, but as has been proven, the marine ecosystem suffers as a whole, which leads us to think that commercially important species for humans will suffer the consequences,” Lindebjerg said.

The pollution comes mainly from France, Turkey, Spain, Egypt and Italy, according to figures from the WWF.

Other marine ecosystems such as mangroves and coral reefs, which provide vital elements for humans and sea species, are also seriously threatened. EFE


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