Refusing the anthropocentric vision and respecting the laws of ecology is the only way to safeguard the future of our and all other species, Sea Shepherd President Paul Watson argues in this op-ed.
Sunscreens are destroying coral reefs
Un nuovo studio ha dimostrato che un ingrediente presente nella maggior parte delle lozioni solari ha un impatto devastante sui coralli.
Coral reefs are one of the planet’s richest habitats. They offer shelter and sustenance to an incredible variety of animal and plant species. However, climate change and the rising ocean acidification, added to man-related impacts, are deteriorating these ecosystems.
Scientists have discovered a new threat: sunscreens. According to a study carried out by an international team of researchers, these products, which protect our skin from burn and UV rays, are jeopardising coral reef survival worldwide.
Most of sun creams contain an ingredient that is toxic to corals, the oxybenzone. This chemical, developed to filter UV rays, not only kills the coral, it causes DNA damage in adults and deforms the DNA in coral in the larval stage, making it unlikely they can develop properly.
The study, published by the magazine Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, shows that the higher oxybenzone concentration levels are located near coral reefs of the most popular tourist sites, such as the Caribbean and Hawaii.
According to researchers, in areas home to coral reefs, 6,000 to 14,000 tonnes of sun cream are used every year, many of them containing the hazardous substance. In fact, oxybenzone is contained in over 3,500 sunscreen products worldwide.
“The use of oxybenzone-containing products needs to be seriously deliberated in islands and areas where coral reef conservation is a critical issue,” said Craig Downs, researcher at the Haereticus Environmental Laboratory and lead author of the study.
Some areas of the world are taking measures to restore coral reefs. In Australia, for instance, the government is testing a new technique to help coral reefs face the steady increase in sea temperatures, by genetically modifying coral species.
Moreover, in Indonesia, an artist realised an artificial coral reef to shelter marine biodiversity. However, such interventions, according to Dawns, will be useless if the root causes of the death of coral reefs are not tackled.
Belize has passed legislation to put an end to all oil activity in its waters to protect the largest barrier reef in the Northern hemisphere and boost sustainable tourism.
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Veri e propri paradisi in terra. Riserve protette per gli ultimi esemplari di specie in via d’estinzione. Grazie all’ecoturismo è possibile proteggerli.
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C40 mayors released statements condemning Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement, and showed their commitment by shining green lights on key buildings.