ENDANGERED: The Mediterranean
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From Italy to Cyprus, Spain to Monaco, mention of the Mediterranean usually conjures up an image of summer holidays, fine food, and blissful weather. The Mediterranean has a 'rich biodiversity', and many of its 'species do not exist anywhere else'. But behind the exterior of the popular destination is an ecosystem facing a multitude of threats.
Image Credit: Kookay via PixabayThe area is an intercontinental sea situated between Europe and Africa; the region encompasses the sea itself and 'seven Member States'. The Threats The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists overexploitation, coastal developments, pollution and droughts as just a few of the factors responsible for the 19% of the region’s species threatened by extinction. It is estimated that 'at least 16 irreplaceable species are already extinct'. Overfishing in particular has been given a great deal of the blame for the environmental issues in the Mediterranean. Fishers in the region are often ignoring science-based recommendations, with 90% of fish populations “harvested in excess”, with the likes of hake, anglerfish and other commercially popular species being exploited “ten times over suggested limits”. With plastic pollution rife across the world, the Mediterranean is not immune from that either. In 2018, WWF feared that it was becoming a “sea of plastic”, with 95% of the waste in the area being plastic.
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