Thursday, October 19, 2006

U.N. says number of ocean "dead zones" rising fast - Yahoo! News

U.N. says number of ocean "dead zones" rising fast
By Daniel Wallis Thu Oct 19, 9:19 AM ET

NAIROBI (Reuters) - The number of "dead zones" in the world's oceans may have increased by a third in just two years, threatening fish stocks and the people who depend on them, the U.N. Environment Program said on Thursday.

Fertilizers, sewage, fossil fuel burning and other pollutants have led to a doubling in the number of oxygen-deficient coastal areas every decade since the 1960s.

Now experts estimate there are 200 so-called ocean dead zones, compared with 150 two years ago.

"Some successes are being scored but in other areas -- like sewage, nutrients from fertilizer run off, animal wastes and atmospheric pollution; sediment mobilization and marine litter -- the problems are intensifying," UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said in a statement.

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