The Costa Concordia’s Impact on the Mediterranean Marine Environment

Abgelegt in Mother Earth

The most televised disaster of early 2012, the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia hit a reef in shallow water off the coast of Giglio, in Tuscany, Italy, on January 13, 2012, due to the careless actions of the ship’s captain. While the cruise ship disaster caused significant loss of human life, as of yet no one has questioned the possible disaster to the surrounding aquatic environment.

Damage to the Reef
The area where the cruise ship sank is a popular scuba diving site for many tourists. One diving site reviews the underwater environment off the coast of Giglio as one of the most beautiful and fascinating in the entire Mediterranean Sea. This says a lot, considering that the Mediterranean aquatic environment is already rather compromised with the introduction of aggressive invasive species, warming due to climate change, and loss of sea life due to overfishing.

Now the newest danger to this area of the Mediterranean is the Costa Concordia wrecking and sinking in shallow water. The reports were that the ship hit a reef – Mediterranean reefs are already rare, and the sea life of the Mediterranean depends on the reefs as areas to breed, feed, and live. The destruction on this one reef caused by the huge ship hitting it would be massive – dislodging corals, scraping up the bottom environment, and directly killing sea life. Now that the large ship has come to a stop, the damage continues in the form of leaking oil, gas, engine fluids, and other environmental pollutants.

Search and Rescue Continues to Affect Marine Life

Another danger comes in the form of the explosions that search and rescue divers must perform to open up sections of the ship. Explosions travel through the water in the form of intense pressure and sound waves – these affect marine life in the worst possible way, able to directly kill fish and delicate marine animals that cannot easily escape the sight by rupturing air bladders and organs. Other sea life like seals and dolphins have been displaced from their home habitats by the sounds and activities of the Costa Concordia crash site.

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