Pollution from mining and damage by fisheries may have helped to eliminate 92% of UK seagrasses

Seagrass meadows are believed to be retreating around 7% per year globally, according to the most recent seagrass census.

Seagrasses play a large role in regulating ocean environments, storing more than twice as much carbon from planet-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) per square mile as forests do on land.

Pollution from mining and damage by fisheries may have helped to eliminate 92% of mainland Britain’s seagrasses in over a century, according to a March 4 study in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science.

If still intact, these could have supported around 400 million fish and stored up to 11.5 million tonnes of carbon — equivalent to 3% of Britain’s CO2 emissions in 2017, the study said.

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