Largescale contamination by synthetic substances and heavy metals continue to plague European seas, according to a new report released by the European Environment Agency (EEA).
The report found that between 75% and 96% of the area surveyed found traces of both heavy metal and synthetic material contamination.
The report shows that all four regional seas in Europe have a large-scale contamination problem, ranging from 96 % of the assessed area in the Baltic Sea and 91 % in the Black Sea, to 87 % in the Mediterranean and 75 % in the North-East Atlantic Ocean. The coverage of the assessed area is mostly good but it varies considerably between the four seas and remains limited in the offshore waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
The agency concluded that the way in which marine pollution is addressed needs to ‘change profoundly’, with “many persistent substances remaining in marine ecosystems, so avoiding their use in the first place is essential for reaching long‑term policy commitments.”