The Mediterranean Sea: an endangered jewel

The Mediterranean Sea is an almost completely enclosed sea that stretches over 2.5 million square kilometres between the coasts of Southern Europe, North Africa and Asia. Representing only 0.7% of the world’s ocean surface, it is nevertheless one of the major reservoirs of marine and coastal biodiversity [1].

However, because of its geography, the intensity of maritime transport, fishing and the industrial and tourist activities that it concentrates, the Mediterranean Sea is particularly sensitive to plastic pollution. With 1 to 10 million plastic particles per square kilometre, it is the most polluted sea in the world [2].

BeMed is working with stakeholders in the field to reduce this pollution. In particular, the many Mediterranean islands, which are tourist hotspots, are opportunities to test new locally anchored solutions. This is why BeMed launched a call for projects on 1 April this year, which aims to reduce plastic pollution in the Mediterranean islands.

With this call, BeMed wishes to act at the source of this pollution and reduce its impact on the marine environment by implementing sustainable solutions, improving the understanding of the local context, creating partnerships and strengthening the capacities of local partners. The call will strengthen and replicate the effective actions already underway in the Mediterranean.

The call is open until 21 June.

1. RAC SPA [Internet]. Available:

2. Cózar A, Sanz-Martín M, Martí E, González-Gordillo JI, Ubeda B, Gálvez JÁ, et al. Plastic accumulation in the Mediterranean Sea. PLoS One. Public Library of Science; 2015;10: e0121762.

3. Médail F. The specific vulnerability of plant biodiversity and vegetation on Mediterranean islands in the face of global change. Reg Environ Chang. Springer; 2017;17: 1775–1790.

4. Van Sebille E, Wilcox C, Lebreton L, Maximenko N, Hardesty BD, Van Franeker JA, et al. A global inventory of small floating plastic debris. Environ Res Lett. IOP Publishing; 2015;10: 124006.