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WWF report warns of Med ‘tropicalization’

The Mediterranean is fast becoming a tropical sea, with temperatures rising 20% faster than the global average, a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) report warns.

As a consequence, fish of the southern Mediterranean, such as the barracuda and the dusky grouper, are migrating north, 1,000 invasive species have entered through the Suez Canal and the Strait of Gibraltar, displacing local species, coral formations are being degraded and jellyfish abound, to the extent that fishermen often catch more jellyfish than fish, the report says.

Most worryingly, the warming threatens Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows in the sea, which may capture up to 42% of the Mediterranean states’ carbon emissions.

The WWF is calling for a big expansion of protected sea areas.

The report was released on the occasion of World Environment Day last Saturday.