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443 – This is the estimated number of Indo-Pacific invasive marine species that have entered the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal since its opening in 1869. These species have found the Mediterranean to be a comfortable place to live, but then, who wouldn’t? However, these Indo-Pacific species are not as accommodating as their new home and are often noxious, poisonous, or venomous, posing threats to both the Mediterranean marine ecosystems and human health.

Marine litter is a global issue for the world’s oceans. Plastic litter, especially, is a problem, as it degrades into smaller pieces, called microplastics, which can get eaten by marine organisms, and thereby gradually build up in the marine and coastal environment. It can even end up on your plate!  

As we know, our marine world is full of acronyms, so it is helpful sometimes to shed light on particularly relevant ones to Oceana’s conservation work, such as “VMEs”. This stands for Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems, and describes deep-sea ecosystems that are unique, rare, fragile and are particularly sensitive to the impacts of  fishing activities, such as cold-water hard corals, soft corals, and their relatives; sponge aggregations; mud- and sand-emergent fauna, etc.

The Danish Minister of Environment, Kirsten Brosbøl, and the Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Dan Jørgensen, have submitted a joint proposal to establish six new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Kattegat in order to protect its soft-bottom habitats. Soft-bottom represents around one-quarter of the Danish part of the Kattegat but currently remain completely unprotected. Soft-bottoms are not covered by the European Nature Directives and are therefore particularly susceptible to human threats.

On April 14th, Oceana, together with representatives of the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament, and other stakeholders, participated in a roundtable discussion on the Blue Economy. The meeting revealed the potential provided by the blue economy as well as the future threats it may bring to marine environments. Marine pollution (esp.

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