ATHENS, Greece, Aug. 5 (UPI) — Biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea is at risk from an invasion of hundreds of foreign marine species arriving in the last 140 years, researchers say.
Scientists at the Hellenic Center for Marine Research in Greece say at least one new species arrived in the sea each week, and between 960 and 975 “foreign” species have been recorded in the sea around Greece in the past century and a half, Athens newspaper Kathimerini reported.
In the last decade there has been an “aggressive increase” in foreign species, HCMR researcher Aygyro Zenetos said, with the number doubling in that time.
She says many of the invaders may have come in seawater used as ballast by an increasing number of research vessels from around the world conducting marine research in the Mediterranean.
But many likely species came via the Suez Canal and the Strait of Gibraltar, Zenetos said.
“We are seeing the creation of a new kind of sea and it is likely we will stop seeing many species that we recognize,” she said.
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