A future for the Mediterranean sea
EMERGENCIES OF THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA IN A DOCUMENTARY.

Jordi Teixeira September 2019 LIFESTYLE Read in PDF format N22/2019
A future for the Mediterranean sea Manu San Félix, marine biologist and photographer of National Geographic, collects in a documentary the urgencies of the Mediterranean sea.

Manu San Félix says that for some time now he’s been trying to get National Geographic to put the spotlight on the Posidonia and to look at the Mediterranean. His tenacity and observations have convinced the institution to produce a documentary that takes a hopeful look at the sea of Europe. Under the title “Let’s Save our Mediterranean”, the production focuses on “what we can do to recover the Mediterranean”, where the Posidonia – the water purifier that San Feliz vehemently defends – is the star of the show. The major challenges are clearly defined, as the marine biologist points out: the destruction of the coast by construction, ports, etc. in addition to overfishing and contamination. “We have a huge problem with our residual waters that we dump in the sea without purifying them or not purifying them enough.

The water of our coasts is no longer turqouise blue, when it always used to be.” Furthermore, “the plastic problem that has invaded the Mediterranean like the rest of the seas and oceans of the world, and the dissolved microplastics in the water that we don’t see are perhaps the worst version of this problem.” Unfortunately, he assures, there are many threatened species. “Some were frequently seen in the Baleares and the rest of the Mediterranean just a few decades ago and are now on the brink of extinction. For example, the monk seal of the Mediterranean or the nacre, that in just two years have become nearly extinct. Others are not in danger of extinction but they are endangered and the list is long: red coral, sea horses, slipper lobsters, newts, sea turtles, the Posidonia...”.

A documentary to shake up awareness

“When I came to the Baleares and started talking to old fisherman, I realized I had gotten here too late. I met a very different Mediterranean and in the last 30 years, the erosion has gotten worse. We have eroded the habitat and we are at a crucial point as far as conservation goes. What we do over the next 10 years will leave us in a dramatic situation.” In addition to the biological impact, the expert points out the habitat destruction, “because if we save the habitat, we will save the animals.” As a solution, San Felix emphasizes the importance of recovering biodiversity: “studies show that we need to establish protected marine zones and stop dumping residual waters. We have the knowledge and the technology to do it now”.

 

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