The Mediterranean, the largest inland sea in the world. For thousands of years it's shorelines have provided its peoples with a bountiful amount of seafood, but in recent decades this beautiful underwater paradise in many places has become a desolate, almost lifeless wasteland. The opening of the Suez Canal a century and a half ago has caused an invasive introduction of non-native species from the Red Sea into the Mediterranean, which hurts local fisheries and countries economies. 720,000,000 tons of sewage, 142,000 tons of mineral oil, 66,000 tons of mercury, 4,200 tons of lead, and 40,000 tons of phosphates are dumped into the this sea every year, which has almost wiped many native species out!
Over 17% of the oil spills that happen in the world have happed in the Mediterranean, which has somewhat to do with the fact that its sea ways are the busiest in the world, and hundreds of those ships are oil tankers. In spite of these problems, its the most culturally diverse inland sea in the world. 1 in 3 international tourists come to visit the Mediterranean. The bad part about this is the governments of the countries on the coasts of the sea have allowed unregulated development in small communities on the coasts to meet the demands of the tourism industry. This has caused major beach erosion, and pollution to degrade many of the shallow sea ecosystems.
Sea Turtles & Monk Seals are two iconic and endangered kind of animals that are most affected by this. Without healthy coast lines many species, including turtles, seals, sea birds, small fish, crabs, (etc.) will suffer and decline. The tourist and fishing industry will feel the consequences, as well as the local communities of people who call these beautiful waters home.
Lastly, overfishing is an alarming threat to the survival of the biodiversity of the Mediterranean. Tuna, Marlin, Swordfish, and many more marine species are at dangerously low numbers, and the European Environment Agency say that over 65% percent of fish stocks & fisheries are unregulated and undermanaged across all the nations of the Mediterranean. Also there are loopholes in the rules and laws of how many pounds or tons of which species can and should be caught every season. Unless international action is taken soon, many large to small open ocean going fishes like tuna, marlin, cod, salmon, mackerel, herring, anchovy, sardine, and many more will disappear from all waters in less than 10 to 15 years. If this happens whole ecosystems will collapse, and hundreds of millions of peoples will starve, 1 in 10 people in the world will lose their livelihoods, and the global economy will take a massive blow.
So you may ask what can be done, and what can you do to help? Signing this petition can help make a difference, contact the Council of the European Union World Wildlife Fund, and the United Nations by writing an email & making phone calls, to them ask them to take action by protecting coastlines for overdevelopment, to enforce regulations on overfishing, and modernize their degrading waste treatment plants, to lessen the amount of pollution that get's dumped or drains into the sea every year. Using Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram to get your message to them will increase the likelihood of them hearing us and taking our matter seriously. If you live or have friends or family that live around the Mediterranean I encourage you to not use plastic bags, or plastic utensils, not using them will reduce the amount of plastic into the ocean. If you love seafood, buy sustainable caught fish, which encroaches sustainable fishing, which is good for the planet and local economics.
As a person and human being, I care deeply about the future of the health and biodiversity of our planet, and I believe that we can all make a difference whether if it's large or small!