Activities such as laying gas pipelines, trawling for fish, drilling for oil, and even burying internet cables in the deep sea are destroying marine ecosystems.
But studies have shown that reintroducing seaweed and corals to these habitats could ward off the worst effects – and recover marine life.
Biodiversity loss is considered to be one of the most severe global environmental problems, reports the Horizon. Without action, more than half of the world’s marine species could be on the brink of extinction by the year 2100, according to UNESCO.
Professor Roberto Danovaro, president of the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn in Naples, Italy, coordinates a project called MERCES, which is restoring habitats in biologically depleted regions of Europe by reintroducing key species, which are mainly plants and corals.
In the seagrass meadows of the Mediterranean, Baltic and North Atlantic the team is replanting seaweed species, in hard-bottom habitats they are reintroducing gorgonians (sea fans), and in deep-sea areas, corals.
Prof. Danovaro says that so far between 50% and 90% of animals have returned to these habitats, depending on the species reintroduced.