“The globalization of trade and transport has created global pathways of species transfer,” says Josephine Iacarella, an aquatic ecologist associated with Canada’s Institute of Ocean Sciences. He said invasive species can be helpful by “replacing species that are overfished.” He said only five percent of the invaders are a problem. Bella Galil is an Israeli biologist who has studied the Mediterranean for over 30 years. For the last 151 years, it’s been a superhighway for species to enter, and change, the Mediterranean Sea. That is two times the number from 30 years ago. Egyptian marine biologist Tarek Temraz, who wrote the Egyptian environment ministry’s assessment on the New Suez Canal, focused on these other factors as direct causes of the Mediterranean’s shifts. Those currents encourage the invasive species—from soldierfish and lionfish to moon crabs and jellyfish—through the choke point, and practically pull them into the brave new world of the Mediterranean. The country has been at peace with Israel since 1979 and recently signed a huge agreement to supply Israel with natural gas. Mediterranean Sea altered by Suez Canal's invasive species, say experts . To learn more or withdraw consent, please visit our cookie policy. Meaning that they’re not always bad. “Every creature that’s swept through the Suez Canal is swept eastward along the Levantine coast—Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey—and then westward,” says Galil. Since the Suez Canal expanded, in 2015, invasive species have become more common in the eastern Mediterranean. The code has been copied to your clipboard. The sea lamprey, for example, which arrived in Lake Ontario by way of shipping canals stretching to the Atlantic, began its century-long wriggle into the other Great Lakes in 1938. They say that rising water temperatures and wastewater from ships are to blame. not planned as a purpose or goal, consequences – n. the result of some action or decision, irreversible – n. something that cannot be changed back, Invasive Animals Passing Through Suez Canal to Mediterranean Sea. The Suez Canal, which connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, is also a path for species to enter the Mediterranean Sea. Galil said the problems of invasive species can be compared to those of climate change, pollution and over-fishing. The New Suez Canal, as it’s called, has encouraged more movement of ships and aquatic creatures alike. Little if any attention was paid to the nonhuman entities that would take advantage of the new corridor. ARON HELLER. Winner will be selected at random on 01/01/2021. Canals—from the English Midlands to upstate New York—have often been the answer for industrial entities seeking to deliver goods cheaper and faster than they can via land routes. Egypt does not consider the environmental concerns as urgent. The number of non-native creatures has risen since the Suez Canal was widened in 2015. Dec 31, 2019. Experts say Med Sea altered by Suez Canal’s invasive species. Other poisonous species, such as the lionfish and silver-cheeked toadfish, are also appearing. Facebook. Lebanese scientists at the American University in Beirut have written about threats to the environment linked to the canal’s expansion. The Suez canal, connecting the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, has created a direct shipping route between the East and the West. See. Follow us on social media to add even more wonder to your day. Israel is now dealing with huge numbers of poisonous jellyfish that affect coastal power centers and keep people from visiting the seashore. Map was … Make bread fit for a pharaoh and a sweet treat out of tiger nuts. Years before the Suez Canal opened, in November 1869, it was lauded as an economic boon. Galil believes the number of invasive species has reached 400. No purchase necessary. © 2020 Atlas Obscura. TEL AVIV, Israel — As Egypt marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Suez Canal, marine biologists are bemoaning one of the famed waterway’s lesser known legacies — the invasion of hundreds of non-native species, including toxic jellyfish and aggressive lionfish. In the years since, control programs have reduced the lamprey to a fraction of its former presence. Writing in the journal Biological Invasions last year, they reveal that, ‘of nearly 700 multicellular non-indigenous species currently recognised from the Mediterranean Sea, fully half were introduced through the Suez Canal since 1869.’ The worry is that the new channel will significantly increase this trend. Offer available only in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). While such impacts are easily seen in smaller habitats, the Mediterranean Sea is vast, making it harder to study—and its damage harder to calculate. Jan 16, 2020. But they’ve come with a price. Turkish Heritage Organization. More often than not, the question of how an animal crosses a road is answered with a splat. Experts say Med Sea altered by Suez Canal's invasive species. The invasive species have driven native marine life toward extinction and altered the delicate Mediterranean ecosystem . “Not only in the Mediterranean, but the entire scale of [global] marine invasion[s]. But in the marine realm … it’s a very, very complex Rubik’s Cube.”. Which is why many bestial transfers have led to unforeseen consequences. Experts say Med Sea altered by Suez Canal’s invasive species. Share. The URL has been copied to your clipboard. Suez Canal 'invaders': Six most dangerous species – 5. In the ensuing decades, it preyed on the local trout, sturgeon, and salmon populations, heavily affecting American and Canadian fisheries. They will make fresh water out of seawater. Israel Mediterranean Sea Imperiled by Suez Canal’s Invasive Species. Some Egyptian experts also deny that the widening of the canal is responsible for the increase in invasive species. We mainly look at land and inland waters; it’s where we live, it’s where we have access. The expansion has increased the canal's capacity but also let more invasive species pass from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. An aspirational goal of Galil’s has been to increase the salinity of the Great Bitter Lakes north of Suez—naturally occurring saline deposits that she hopes would stymie the influx of salt-averse invasive species if they’re made even saltier. In 2015, the Suez Canal Corridor Area Project was completed, creating a newer, deeper Suez that merges with its predecessor. Galil is a critic of the canal’s effects on the sea. It’s no surprise why: People generally don’t build things with animals in mind. Many European countries on the Mediterranean are paying attention. The influx of invasives—unmitigated since the original Suez Canal opened—is expected to increase, and with it, the future of the Mediterranean’s native fish is likely to become starker. Since its opening in 1869, the Suez Canal has led to the introduction of more than 100 marine fish species from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, most recently the venomous lionfish, a process which scientists refer to as Lessepsian migrations, named after Ferdinand de Lesseps, the French developer of the Suez Canal. The invasive newcomers—which numbered around 1,000 species in 2014 (the last year for which data are available)—found that their commute was made easier by the geology of the region. FILE - In this April 3, 2019, file photo, Palestinian fishermen unload their catch after a night fishing trip, in the Gaza Seaport. But as of November 2019, a quarter of a million lampreys remained in the lakes, according to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. They say that rising water temperatures and wastewater from ships are to blame. ________________________________________________________________, species – n. a group of animals or plants that can produce young and are closely linked, unintended – adj. All rights reserved. By . In February 1860, when the project was still very much theoretical, The New York Times marveled at “an enterprise designed to be of such incalculable benefit to the civilized world.”. Like Atlas Obscura and get our latest and greatest stories in your Facebook feed. Like us on Facebook to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. The canal, which connects the Red Sea to … “I don’t think we’ve really started to absorb the enormity of these [invasions],” she says. She noted that the widening and deepening of the Suez Canal has created a “moving aquarium” of species. In recent years, the canal has become a divisive environmental issue among an international body of marine biologists and the Egyptian government, which hasn’t shown much interest in stopping, or even slowing, these migrations. Please click below to consent to the use of this technology while browsing our site. FILE - This Aug. 6, 2015 file photo shows the entrance of the new section of the Suez Canal in Ismailia, Egypt. So many have made the migration here that the phenomenon has earned its own name: the Lessepsian migration, so named for Ferdinand de Lesseps, the Frenchman who supervised the Suez’s construction. Atlas Obscura and our trusted partners use technology such as cookies on our website to personalise ads, support social media features, and analyse our traffic. They say they are requiring ships to take measures to avoid carrying species from one side of the canal to the other. “One day we will wake up to a complete and irreversible change and know that there was something we could have done about it, if only it had been done on time,” she said. TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — As Egypt marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Suez Canal, marine biologists are bemoaning one of the famed waterway’s lesser known legacies — the invasion of hundreds of non-native species, including toxic jellyfish and aggressive lionfish. Galil said the problems of invasive species can be compared to those of climate change, pollution and over-fishing. Follow. When European colonists brought their dogs to the Americas, the new canids quickly subsumed native dog groups. The “New Suez Canal” has raised concerns in Europe and brought criticism from many Mediterranean countries. Galil, however, questions whether these measures will be enough to serve as a barrier against invasive species. ISABEL DEBRE. The canal, which connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, revolutionized […] Canal officials say they are closely watching the movements of sea creatures. WhatsApp. The Associated Press. Invasive species from the Suez Canal expansion. The Associated Press reports that scientists in eastern Mediterranean countries from Turkey to Tunisia share these concerns. Yet the nomad jellyfish ( Rhopilema nomadica) is but one of more than 350 marine invasive alien species that have traversed the Suez Canal from the Red Sea into the Mediterranean. Every weekday we compile our most wondrous stories and deliver them straight to you. “Marine invasive species are very difficult to eradicate, owing to the open nature of marine systems (though there are some success stories in more enclosed areas),” says Iacarella. The Suez Canal Authority is the government agency that operates the canal… Mario Ritter Jr. adapted this Associated Press story for VOA Learning English. “That’s the route. By Aron Heller And Isabel Debre The Associated Press. These creatures could make coastal waters almost unusable for human beings. Rats, for example, have piggy-backed on human movements for centuries, spreading disease along the way. She says much of the environmental damage cannot be repaired. The Lessepsian migration is the migration of marine species across the Suez Canal, usually from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and more rarely in the opposite direction. 28. We depend on ad revenue to craft and curate stories about the world’s hidden wonders. Invasive species haven’t merely survived in the Mediterranean; they’ve thrived. But it noted that Israel cannot fight the problem alone. The Suez Canal—gouged in Egypt, along the arid isthmus that separates Africa from the Middle East—is one of the world’s most famous aquatic shortcuts. As was the case during colonial rule in 19th-century Egypt, economic priorities have trumped ecological concerns. Red Sea mackerels have replaced Mediterranean meagres almost completely, and a foreign limpet species now coats the coasts of Israel, entirely erasing its native counterpart on the southern shore and aggressively taking up space on the northern one. Bella Galil said that if salt from the desalination centers could be put in the canal, it could create a “salinity barrier” to protect the Mediterranean. Another natural wonder in the Galápagos Islands. Jan. 15, 2020 at 9:59 pm Updated Jan. 19, 2020 at 1:54 pm . Around the world, this has posed a huge problem, as native species are frequently threatened, or entirely outmatched, by their invasive counterparts. A ship crosses the Gulf of Suez towards the Red Sea as holiday-makers swim in Suez, 79 miles east of Cairo, Egypt (Amr Nabil/AP) Canal officials say they are closely monitoring species migration, imposing regulations on ships that unwittingly ferry invasive creatures and curtailing water contamination in hopes of restoring salinity to the lakes. Twitter. The warming of the sea—onset by climate change—has hastened and facilitated the invasion. She said urgent action is needed to ease the effects of the invasive fish and other sea life. TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — As Egypt marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Suez Canal, marine biologists are bemoaning one of the famed waterway’s lesser known legacies — the invasion of hundreds of non-native species, including toxic jellyfish and aggressive lionfish. From the beaches of Tel Aviv to Haifa Bay and Acre in the north, she says, invasive species have ravaged the coast, both outcompeting native species and causing coastal erosion. Desalination centers are currently being built, with money from Qatar, near the canal. There are about 700 non-indigenous species in the Mediterranean, according to the scientists, about 350 of which have entered from the Suez Canal … Lessepsian migrants, named after Ferdinand de Lesseps, the French engineer in charge of the Suez Canal's construction, are marine species that are native to the waters on one side of the Suez Canal, and which have been introduced by passage through the canal to the waters on its other side, giving rise to new colonies there and often becoming invasive. Richness (number of species in a 10x10km grid) of marine alien species introduced in the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal (Lessepsian immigrants). No migration is too far for healthy skin. It says the environmental concerns are overstated. George Grow was the editor. The invasion of new species has reached as far as Spain in the west. But she isn’t optimistic about how the situation will play out. “‘Invasive species’ is a huge and nonspecific category,” Moustafa Fouda, an adviser to Egypt’s environment minister, told the Associated Press. Pinterest. “It’s not like they added [economic] value [to the Mediterranean]. The Suez Canal Authority is the government agency that operates the canal. “They can even be productive, replacing species that are overfished, bringing economic benefits, or simply adapting to the new environment.”. Canals can accelerate this phenomenon. 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As Egypt marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Suez Canal, marine biologists are bemoaning one of the famed waterway’s lesser known legacies — the invasion of hundreds of non-native species, including toxic jellyfish and aggressive lionfish. By. Some experts have suggested that increasing salt levels in the canal itself could create a barrier that would keep invasive species out. The entrance of the Suez Canal's new section in Ismailia, Egypt. Offer subject to change without notice. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra, File), Invasive Animals Passing Through Suez Canal to Mediterranean. One has been named after a former president who had a thing for marine conservation. The Great and Litter Bitter Lakes, which are linked to the canal, once provided a salty barrier to animals that might pass through. TEL AVIV, Israel — As Egypt marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Suez Canal, marine biologists are bemoaning one of the famed waterway’s lesser known legacies — the invasion of hundreds of non-native species, including toxic jellyfish and aggressive lionfish. After pausing production of the 737 MAX, Boeing will get help evicting its resident birds of prey. And they are trying to keep salt levels high in the Bitter Lakes as a barrier. Israel Mediterranean Sea Imperiled by Suez Canal’s Invasive Species. The Red Sea is at a slightly higher altitude than the Mediterranean, so the water flows south to north. In the midst of the industrial fervor of the 19th century, the focus was on how ships could avoid the lengthy circumvention of Africa. | AP. Not long ago, Egypt marked the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Suez Canal. The agency said the widening of the canal has increased water flow into the Mediterranean by only four percent. 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