BBC News Wales reports that underwater fish "meadows" are being lost at the same rate as the Amazon rain forests, according to Swansea University researchers. Dr Richard Unsworth, lead researcher on the project, is quoted.
Seagrass is a key habitat for feeding and sheltering young fish, including plaice, haddock and pollock. But every hour an area the size of two football pitches is destroyed.
Scientists from Swansea University believe the habitats need to be protected otherwise fishing stocks could be affected. "The rate of loss is equal to that occurring in tropical rainforests and on coral reefs yet it receives a fraction of the attention," said Dr Richard Unsworth, lead researcher. "If you're a small fish, like a juvenile cod, then you need food and shelter. Seagrass meadows provide both." The biggest threat is from poor water quality and damage caused by boat anchors and moorings.
The story is also reported in:
- Tuesday 12 August 2014 13.26 BST
- Tuesday 7 July 2015 12.27 BST
- College of Science