In recent days, a wave of mucilage has hit the Sea of Marmara in Turkey, not far from Istanbul. This last episode, linked to the abnormal development of certain types of algae that release toxic substances, is fully part of the cases that make up a large study released by UNESCO and the International Oceanographic Commission on the occasion of World Oceans Day. This is a detailed seven-year analysis carried out by 109 scientists from 35 nations who studied 9,503 episodes of algal blooms (in scientific language “Hab-Harmful Algal Blooms”) between 1985 and 2018.
The result is disconcerting: Habs are largely linked to farming (fish, crustaceans, molluscs), marine exploitation and coastal development (cities, ports, tourist settlements). The study was published in the scientific journal Nature Communications Earth & Environment. Of the classified episodes, over 3,500 occurred along the European coasts and another 702 in the Mediterranean. Among the approximately 10,000 classified species of marine phytoplankton, 250 can produce toxins that are harmful to human health and other inhabitants of the seas.
The toxins emitted can cause real massacres among fish and shellfish farms. The most obvious product of the Habs are the mucilages that infest the coasts. Marine farms have increased sixteen times in the period under review, going from a production of 11.35 million tons in 1985 to 178.5 million in 2018. The study has also created an interesting web portal where you can track and monitor Habs around the world.
June 8, 2021 (change June 8, 2021 | 13:57)
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