Sea pollution: 2020 targets not reached, EU

Mediterranean and others in bad state

25 June, 17:45

    (ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, JUNE 25 - The ecosystem of the Mediterranean is among the richest in the world, with 17,000 species, but only 6.1% of its fish stock is fished in a sustainable way and only 12.7% of its area has no pollution issues, according to the data in a new report released by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The report said all seas around the continent are generally in a bad state. Despite some progress, the agency said it is unlikely that countries will reach the objective of a ''good environmental state'' for all waters by 2020, as indicated by the EU framework directive. A ''point of no return'' has not been reached yet, stressed the report, and the situation could improve by fully implementing environmental policies already in place and by investing in knowledge and cooperation between countries.

    The data coverage is generally good in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea but there are margins of improvement in the Black and Mediterranean seas, according to the document.

    As far as stocks are concerned, those of the Mediterranean are generally overexploited but the case of red tuna proves that regulations work, with stocks that are expected to reach satisfying levels of sustainability in 2022. The Adriatic, Bay of Biscay and North Sea were confirmed as areas where the pressure of human activity is particularly strong. (ANSAmed).

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