Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Black Sea Is Dying, and War Might Push it Over the Edge

Peter Schwartzstein,

Image from article, with caption: The Black Sea's fish stocks have been plummeting as of late and may be beyond repair.

Surrounded by six countries, all with their own agendas, the massive body of water is at risk of becoming another casualty of regional strife

The Black Sea’s death knell has been sounded on several occasions in the past, and after each obituary, the oval-shaped body of water, 700 miles-long and situated among Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Anatolia, has always mostly rebounded. ...
However, by the time the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, water quality had hit such a low ebb from the inflow of industrial strength agricultural fertilizers that some scientists wondered aloud whether the Black Sea might become the first major waterway devoid of life. ...
Some environmental officials are, nevertheless, still holding out hope that talks about the Black Sea’s plight might be a means of breaking the ice. “Environmental issues are a kind of public diplomacy,” said Georgia’s Tamar Bagratia. “For example, if these countries are not able to speak about economic affairs, they can still talk about the environment. It is seen as being softer.” ... 

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