The Mediterranean sea represents a 0,8% of the oceanic layer of the planet, however, it hosts approximately 6,4% of the global marine biodiversity, around 17.000 species 20% of them being endemic, meaning they only live in the Mediterranean basin.
Scientists have claimed it is the most threatened marine ecosystem of the planet for a number of reasons such as:
- Human pressure: 200 million people live on the shores of its basin, 75% of coastline has been developed. 300 million tourists visit the Mediterranean each year, that is one-third of the total international tourists worldwide
- Pollution: 200.0000 tons of plastic are dumped in it each year, representing 95% of the total current waste and 7% of the global plastic waste in the oceans. Only one third of the total plastic produced each year in Europe gets properly recycled.
- Overfishing: the Mediterranean is the world’s most overfished sea. 62% of its stocks are overfished and at serious risk of depletion. Over the last 70 years, 41% of mammals and 34% of fishes have been lost.
- Climate Change: Rising sea temperature has led to 700 non-endemic species to establish in the Mediterranean, it also poses a major threat to the survival of endangered species such as the Posidonia oceanica, the loggerhead turtle or the red coral among others
And what can we do about it?
- Educate yourself, learn the facts and the best sustainability practices
- Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Buy smarter and avoid single-use plastics.
- Volunteer. Join your local cleanup groups and make a difference.