The Mediterranean Sea is in an alarming state
It is heavily populated on the Mediterranean coast. Most coastal towns have no sewage treatment facilities and then directly dump their wastewater into the Mediterranean Sea.
On top of this comes the pollution caused by oil tankers performing illegal rinsing of tanks on the open sea. Industry and agriculture are also polluting the Mediterranean with waste and hazardous substances entering the sea through rivers.
The danger faced by pollution for the Mediterranean Sea is proving particularly high as it is above normal in terms of salinity and temperature. Therefore, it contains little oxygen which plays an important role in contaminant decomposition.
There are no major ocean currents in the Mediterranean too, which means that oxygen can not penetrate deeper layers. Also across the narrow Gibraltar Strait, only small quantities of fresh water flow in the Atlantic. As a result, vast amounts of toxins and waste collect over long periods of time in the Mediterranean. Hence the most serious problem is plastic waste.
The plastic waste originates mostly from Spain, Turkey, France, Italy and Egypt, according to German newspaper FAZ. Yet anyone who would think Germany is far too far from the Mediterranean to be part of the problem will be mistaken.
Whether it's possible to save the Mediterranean will depend on the EU, the Member States and each of us. In addition to developing marine protected areas, building wastewater treatment plants in coastal regions can also have a significant effect on the quality of water. Coastguard monitoring and sanctioning of oil tankers could also help save the Mediterranean Sea.
Maritime Business World