Staff Reporter

PALMA
A top biologist from Valencia University, Celia Agusti, has warned that the Mediterranean Sea “is not healthy” and that there are sections of the sea bed which have been “destroyed” by the actions of fishing boats using trawl nets.

Agusti said that if it wasn't for the “speed of regeneration” of the marine ecosystem in the Mediterranean, in reality “there would be nothing left” as, according to her, the sea is “in a very bad state and is extremely contaminated”.

She underlined the fact that “it can still be saved” if the Mediterranean was left “calm”, and if “the right” measures are applied, such as reducing the dumping of waste into the sea, limiting fishing, stopping building on the coast and increasing the protected areas, with the aim of preserving the number of sea mammals and recovering the entire marine ecosystem.

The biologist highlighted that, during the last four or five years, there has been a reduction in the number of fishing grounds due to overfishing, which is causing dolphins in the Balearics to be “very thin, up to the point where their ribs are noticeable, in spite of them having a layer of fat of around 1.5 centimetres.” Agusti said that this situation “is not normal” and revealed that biologists have found that the dolphins are changing their diet, due to the fact that fishing has exhausted the species which they normally eat, forcing them to eat other types of fish which are “less beneficial.” .

For this reason, after taking a census of these areas where there is a high diversity of animals, Valencia University has demanded from the Spanish Ministry for the Environment that a series of areas be declared Areas of Special Interest in order to protect and preserve these mammals.

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