Study says Europe’s seas in trouble from fishing, farming, other threats

In case you think Europe does everything right, a study shows that the continent’s seas are in sea-rious trouble. More than 100 scientists in 15 countries surveyed the Baltic, Black, and Mediterranean seas and the North Atlantic, finding that fishing, farming, shipping, and development are all causing trouble. “In every sea, we found serious damage related to the accelerated pace of coastal development, the way we transport our goods, and the way we produce our food on land as well as the sea,” said coordinator Laurence Mee. “Without a concerted effort to integrate protection of the sea into Europe’s development plans, its biodiversity and resources will be lost.” Two of the more sea-prising findings: increased wealth has led to meat-heavy diets, which has increased fertilizer use; and some areas have improved — but only because industry has relocated to the developing world. Warns Mee: “If we don’t address these problems then we really are shooting ourselves in the foot for future generations.”