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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Britain, Norway in post-Brexit fisheries deal with EU

This week, Norway, Britain and the EU have reached a trilateral deal on catch limits for jointly managed North Sea fish stocks following the UK’s exit from the EU, the three parties said on Tuesday.

The new trilateral deal, covering common North Sea fishing quotas for cod, haddock, plaice, whiting, herring and saithe, is the first step toward ending legal havoc in key fishing waters since Britain completed its exit from the EU on Dec. 31.

UK Minister Victoria Prentis said that while the new accord covers common North Sea quotas, bilateral talks were underway with the EU, Norway and the Faroe Islands to confirm access arrangements and fish quota exchanges.

British, Danish, German, Swedish and French vessels all catch fish in the Norwegian part of the North Sea, home to some of the richest fishing stocks in Europe.

Norway had sought a trilateral pact with Britain and the EU on management of North Sea fish that swim between waters belonging to the EU, Norway and Britain – before making separate deals with the EU and Britain on quotas.

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