A boiling sea

Published 12.09.2023


A boiling sea

Photo: Paco Bailón.

A few days after an intense DANA (isolated depression at high levels) and with record temperatures, not only in our waters but also on a global scale, it is time to talk again about the worrying warming that our waters are suffering. This is undoubtedly the greatest threat to the marine life that inhabits our seas. We must also talk about the unpredictable consequences that this is having and will have on our economy and on our society.  
Corals and gorgonians are dying silently on the seabed walls of the Balearic Sea. Posidonia meadows – a great ally in mitigating the impacts of climate change – are suffering increased mortality. The behaviour of fish is changing as they hide at greater depths making it more difficult to fish and observe them. Once rare species such as the green parrotfish (Sparisoma cretense), the trumpetfish (Fistularia commersonii), or the dentex horse mackerel (Pseudocaranx dentex) are becoming more abundant, and some invasive algae are colonising our seabed more rapidly. The tropicalisation of our seabed will irreversibly transform our underwater landscapes.  
The citizen science platform Observadores del Mar (Sea Watchers) carries out many projects that help to document, alert, and keep track of what is going on. We invite you to take a look and contribute with your observations.  
We have been aware of the problem of warming for a long time and the solutions to curb it and reduce its virulence: We need a courageous energy transition, decarbonisation, and a rethinking of consumption patterns. What is perhaps not clear to us, and which we must remember, is that a sea in an excellent state of conservation, with high levels of biodiversity and abundant fish stocks, is the best guarantee to respond to the thermal shock affecting our waters. This is the best insurance we can buy.  
The Balearic Blue Deal sets out a very clear roadmap to achieve this. It asks the Balearic government, councils, and town councils to make five commitments to conserve the Balearic Sea. Civil society and the private sector have given it their unquestionable support. The message is clear: We want more and better marine conservation and funding. All that remains is for the government and all the political parties to move forward with firm commitments in both the political and the budgetary spheres.


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