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The world’s cleanest and dirtiest oceans

BAHAMAS | Friday, 23 February 2018 | Views [192]

 

 

Everyone loves the beach: that distinctive briny aroma, the lulling whisper of the waves, that sense of touching something vast and eternal. It’s heady and hard to resist. Perhaps the pull of the ocean has something to do with the fact that our bodies are65-75 per cent water?

We can all trek down the to sands and enjoy the sun and waves. But actually swimming in the sea is not without certain risks: there may be dangerous currents, local marine life prone to biting or stinging and perhaps leas salubriously of all, pollution.

Some of the world’s oceans are, sadly for us all, no longer fit for swimmers, while the pure, azure waters of others seem as untouched as the day after creation. Which are the world’scleanest and the world’s dirtiest oceans?

Seas of shame

It’s a large world and sometimes it’s a lot easier to prioritise short term industrial profit over keeping the bigger picture in mind. But this ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude and modern predilection for generating vast amounts of waste has spelt disaster for marine life, as trash accumulates in vast quantities in those oceans that maybe aren’t as endless as we thought they were.

Let’s take a look at a few of the worst examples…

The Atlantic Ocean

The world’s second largest ocean is also the location of some of the some of the world’s worst patches of pollution. The Gulf of Mexico is especially blighted, principally by agricultural run-off from the United States. Nitrogen and phosphorus lower the oxygen level in the water, driving away fish and other sea creatures.

Even worse is the so-called ‘North Atlantic Garbage Patch’, a vast accumulation of floating debris driven together by the ocean currents. This was first discovered as long ago as 1972 and is now believed to be hundreds of miles across.

• The Indian Ocean

The North Atlantic Garbage Patch has a  rival in the Indian Ocean, a huge expanse of sludge and floating plastic. It is now the third largest concentration of pollution in the world.

The Mediterranean

I know it will come as a major disappointment to many summer holiday sunbathers but the Mediterranean is now one of the world’s most polluted seas. Hundreds of millions of tones of sewage and industrial pollutant are poured into those blue waters every year.

Seas of blue

Of course, some parts of the world’s oceans still have a beautifully pure and inviting azure gleam. This is a not a guarantee of no pollution but it does suggest that what you are looking at least partly clean. Clear waters also show that the sea floor is not being continually being churned up by threatening currents and so might be a good place to venture out for a swim.

Some of the world’s bluest and cleanest seas can be found in:

The Bahamas

Spread across no less than 360 islands the Bahamas offer beach lovers an abundance of choices for sun and sea.

Southern Portugal

Some of the world’s most sparkling waters can be found along the Algarve coast.

The Maldives

These sun-drenched atolls present lucky visitors with a wealth of coral teeming with sea creatures, beneath beautifully bright and pure seas.

Tags: environment, oceans

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