Law and Effect
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Chapter 5: The West and Central African Seas
5. The Mediterranean Sea Tullio Scovazzi with Joseph F.C. DiMento and Alexis Jaclyn Hickman We divide coverage of the Mediterranean case into three sub-chapters. We present first, as we do for all the case studies, the physical characteristics and environmental conditions of the sea and the sources of the present status (DiMento and Hickman, Chapter 5A). Professor Scovazzi describes governance of the Sea in Chapter 5B. We then offer our assessment (DiMento and Hickman, Chapter 5C). We shall see that the Mediterranean is a regional seas program with a long and deep history, of considerable early potential, and of varied actual effectiveness. Chapter 5A DiMento and Hickman INTRODUCTION The Mediterranean Sea has been described as an “evaporation basin” (Danovaro 2003: 17), The major inflow into the Mediterranean is nutrient-poor, oxygenated Atlantic surface water through the Strait of Gibraltar, resulting in generally welloxygenated bottom waters. Gyres and upwellings contribute to the Adriatic Sea’s phytoplankton productivity. The highest levels of productivity occur along the coasts, near major cities and at estuaries, while the lowest levels occur in the southeastern Mediterranean. (Aquarone, Adams and Mifsud 2009) Apart from the flow of surface water through the Strait of Gibraltar and the Dardanelles, precipitation and river run-off, the Mediterranean is an almost enclosed sea, taking over a century to be fully renewed. 85 DIMENTO 9781848443754 PRINT.indd 85 01/08/2012 08:02 86 Environmental governance of the great seas CONDITIONS AND SOURCES The sea is differentially polluted or degraded. The Adriatic Sea is the most endangered “with...
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