Literally known as the sea at the middle of the earth or between lands as it is bordered by 21 countries and almost entirely enclosed by land in the south by africa, in the east by asia and in the north by europe.Also one of a global biodiversity hotspotAnd home to a wealth of marine resourcesIn spite of being a biodiversity hotspot, Mediterranean sea also considered as a threatened sea which undergone many environmental changes as a result of extensive human activities including human development, settlement, commerce, and resource exploitation.
The Mediterranean Sea covers an area of around 2.5 million km² or about 965,000 sq. mi. which represent of approximately 0.7% of the world’s total ocean areaWith a length of about 4,000 km and maximum width of 800 kmIts coastline extends for around 46,000 kmMediterranean sea ranges in depth to around 5,200m with an average depth of ~1,500m
The Mediterranean Sea is connected to the Atlantic Ocean through the strait of Gibraltar, while in the north-eastern part is connected with the Black Sea through the strait of Dardanelles and in the east the man-made Suez Canal links the Mediterranean with the red sea, offering an entrance for topical species coming from the Red Sea and Indian Ocean (so-called lessepsian species) Ferdinand de Lesseps.The Bitter Lakes, which are hyper-saline natural lakes that form part of the canal, blocked the migration of Red Sea species into the Mediterranean for many decades. But as the salinity of the lakes gradually equalized with that of the Red Sea, the barrier to migration was removed, and plants and animals from the Red Sea have begun to colonize the Eastern Mediterranean. groups of exotic species show that more than 70% of the non-indigenous decapods and about 63% of the exotic fishes occurring in the Mediterranean are of Indo Pacific origin, introduced into the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal.
The United Nations Environment Programme has estimated that 650,000,000 t of sewage, 129,000 t of mineral oil, 60,000 t of mercury, 3,800 t of lead and 36,000 t (40,000 short tons) of phosphates are dumped into the Mediterranean each year.Many marine species have been almost wiped out because of the sea's pollution. One of them is the Mediterranean Monk Seal which is considered to be among the world's most endangered marine mammals.
Process by which water masses enriched with nutrients (primarily nitrogen and phosphorus) under favorable physicochemical conditions simulate aquatic primary production.Algal blooms – enhanced benthic algal growth and massive growth of submerged and floating macrophytes. Eutrophication events are frequent in coastal waters and lagoon from the northern part of the Mediterranean, while data lacking for the south-eastern part.
Some of the world's busiest shipping routes are in the Mediterranean Sea. It is estimated that approximately 220,000 merchant vessels of more than 100 tons cross the Mediterranean Sea each year, about one third of the world's total merchant shippingMediterranean sea is an area in which oil industry is highly active. It is estimated that every year between 100,000 t and 150,000 t of crude oil are deliberately released into the sea from shipping activities.Approximately 370,000,000 t of oil are transported annually in the Mediterranean Sea, with around 250-300 oil tankers crossing the Sea every day. Accidental oil spills happen frequently with an average of 10 spills per year.
With a beautiful coastline, pleasant climate, rich history and diverse culture, Mediterranean region is the most popular tourist destination in the world. Tourism is one of the most important sources of income for many Mediterranean countries. However, tourism has also played major role in the degradation of the coastal and marine environment.Rapid development and the building of associated infrastructure has been encouraged by governments in Mediterranean countries in order to support the large numbers of tourists. This rapid urban development has caused serious erosion problems in many places along the Mediterranean coasts
Majority of the tourists producing large amount of solid waste and wastewater which can cause a serious treat to natural habitat as well as to the endangered Mediterranean species.
Overfishing is considered to be the biggest environmental threat to the oceans. Based on Food and Agricultural Organization(FAO) around 20% of resources are depleted, 15% are overexploited and 50% are fully exploited in the Mediterranean sea. Most of the commercially important stocks such as bluefin tuna, albacore, hake, swordfish, marlin, red mullet and sea beam are threatened. In 1999 Greenpeace published a report revealing that the amount of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean had decreased by over 80% in the previous 20 years
status of mediterranean sea
STATUS OFMEDITERRANEAN SEA Ed Vincent Empron BSMB January 26, 2012
Mediterranean Sea• ‘’Sea at the middle of the earth ’’• ‘’Global biodiversity hot spot’’• ‘’Home to a wealth of marine resources’’• ‘’A threatened sea’’
Physical Characteristics• Surface area: • 2.5 million km² (965,000 sq.mi) • ~0.7% of the world’s total ocean area (Garcia et al. 2010)• Length: 4,000 km• Width: 800 km• Coastline: 46,000 km• Depth: 5,200m • Average ~ 1,500m (Zenetos et al. 2002)
Physical Characteristics• Bordering Countries: Spain Morocco France Monaco Italy Algeria Tunisia Croatia Albanian Greece Libya Malta Turkey Cyprus Syria Lebanon Israel Egypt Montenegro Bosnia Slovenia
Environmental Threats• Invasive species • Opening of the Suez Canal (1869) • lessepsian species (from Red Sea) • 70% of the non-indigenous decapods • 63% exotic fishes
Environmental Threats• Replacement of indigenous species Mullus Upeneus moluccensis
Environmental Threats• Replacement of indigenous species Marsupenaeus japonicus Penaeus kerathurus
Environmental Threats• Pollution• United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) • 650,000,000 tons of sewage • 129,000 tons of mineral oil • 60,000 tons of mercury • 3,800 tons of lead • 36,000 tons of phosphates• Affected Species • Sea turtle • Mediterranean Monk Seal
Environmental Threats• Eutrophication • Water masses enriched with nutrients • HABs • Occur from the northern part of the Mediterranean • Lack of data in the south-eastern part
Environmental Threats• Shipping • ~220,000 merchant vessels of more than 100 tons/yr • 1/3 of the world’s total merchant shipping • between 100,000 tons and 150,000 tons of crude oil/yr – released • ~370,000,000 tons of oil/yr – transported • 250-300 oil tankers/day – crossing the sea
Environmental Threats• Tourism • “played major role in the degradation of the coastal and marine environment” • caused serious erosion problems – urban developments• Coastline affected by erosion • Greece – 4,368 km • Italy – 2,349 km • France – 2,803 km
Environmental Threats• Tourism • Produced large amount of solid waste • Caused a serious treat to natural habitat of endangered Mediterranean species
Environmental Threats• Overfishing • “biggest environmental threat to the oceans” • 20% of resources are depleted • 15% are overexploited • 50% are fully exploited (FAO)• Commercially important stocks • bluefin tuna, albacore, hake, swordfish, marlin, red mullet and sea bream
Conclusion• The open waters of the Mediterranean can be considered to be in good condition• In coastal areas, hot spots located in bays near to big cities and harbors are the major problem of the mediterranean sea due to urban and tourist development• Most of the benthic and demersal fisheries are more or less overexploited• All together, Mediterranean Sea is mostly affected by land- based pollution sources (urbanization, industry, harbors, agriculture)• Therefore, conservation plan, monitoring, sustainable development and resource management of the marine resources of the Mediterranean sea must be enhanced.
• Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area• Convention on Biological Diversity• United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization• General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean• International Union for Conservation of Nature• Mediterranean Action Plan• The Network of Managers of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean• Strategic Action Programme for the Conservation of Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean Region• United Nation Environmental Programme