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Plastic in the Levantine Sea

Throughout the ages, inland, and sea, the Levant saw the clash and mix of West and East in an epic tale that reveals human conditioning as equally as it revealed in the hearts of many the God of Abraham, Jesus, and Muhammad. The Levant, a land mysterious and treacherous, a land of contradictions, a land where the human spirit battles in a gripped epic confrontation between everything deemed sacral and earthly. The Levant, the land of revelation and monotheism, the land of the Israelites, the Canaanites, the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, and the Persians. No region in world history has more history condensed in a small stretch of land than the Levant. In the Eastern Mediterranean and concretely the Levantine Sea, important sea fairing nations rose such as the Phoenicians, a highly advanced civilization with incredible history and an unconquerable city like Tyre. It would take a man like Alexander the Great to finally extinguish the light of this ancient city whose rise to prominence was dictated in the musky fate of the Levantine Sea.

This part of the Mediterranean Sea, due to the socio-political insecurities that have often disrupted the normal development process, has brought about a lack of sufficient academic-oriented studies on plastic waste, preventing us from making a correct assessment of the current situation in this region. However available research in the area indicates that the Eastern Part n is as densely polluted, if not more than the rest of the Mediterranean. In a publication in the scientific "Marine Pollution Bulletin," a team of researchers tried to assess the abundance and composition of floating marine macro litter on the eastern sector of the Mediterranean Sea. The findings suggested that in the Eastern Mediterranean elements of floating marine micro litter were found to be densely present in the Levantine Basin. On average, the density of items in the sub-basin of the Levantine Sea ranged between 230 to 325 items per square km. From this volume, the study found that small plastic debris accounted for roughly 90% of all items surveyed. All in all, the data indicates that the level of plastic in this region in terms of its density far surpasses that of other central-western Mediterranean regions.

CMS is working intensely to prepare a new report meant to address some of the challenges faced by the Mediterranean nations and the pool of legislative solutions we should draw from. Stay tuned!

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