The picture that frightens scientists: “Only 15 percent of all coasts are intact”

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Scientists have revealed that only 15.5 percent of coastal areas worldwide are not ecologically degraded.

The picture that frightens scientists: "Only 15 percent of all coasts are intact" 1

Coastal areas contain some of the important ecosystems such as coral reefs and seaweed forests.

Many animal species depend on shores for reproduction, food, and protection. People need the shore, too. Because 74 percent of the world’s population lives within 50 kilometers of the coast.

However, this situation increases the pressure and damage that people put on the coasts. In addition to the activities carried out in the waters such as fishing, the works carried out on the coastline such as construction threaten these regions.

The study, led by researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia, focused on activities both on land and in water.

Scientists analyzed satellite data obtained in 2013 to calculate the extent to which human activities are affecting coastal areas.

The findings, published Dec. 14 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Conservation Biology, showed that the 15.5 percent region that remained intact was found mostly in Canada. After Canada, Russia, Greenland, Chile, Australia and the USA follow.

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In island countries, in most of Europe; In countries such as India and Singapore, coastlines have often been severely degraded.

According to ecologist Brooke Williams, the study shows that coastal areas urgently need to be protected. “This is not good news,” said Williams, the paper’s lead author, and that the situation has probably worsened since 2013.

James Watson, one of the research team, stated that there is no guarantee for people that remote coastal areas will remain intact. Watson explained that mining and fishing activities are damaging these places:

You see the effects of fishing in remote corners around the world.

The Guardian, The Conversation


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