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Protecting our oceans is key to our health. But are we doing enough?

In partnership with The European Commission
Josep Lloret heads the Oceans and Human Health Chair at the University of Girona
Josep Lloret heads the Oceans and Human Health Chair at the University of Girona Copyright euronews
Copyright euronews
By Denis Loctier
Published on Updated
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Ocean speaks with marine biologist Josep Lloret, who is assessing the ecological and social impacts of large floating offshore wind farms.

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are crucial in preserving the health of our oceans. But unfortunately, even MPAs face frequent challenges that endanger both marine and human well-being.

In this bonus interview, Ocean speaks with marine biologist Josep Lloret, a pioneer in the Oceans and Human Health research field and leader of the EU-funded project BIOPAÍS.

Dr Lloret is assessing the ecological and social impacts of large floating offshore wind farms, including controversial proposals to build such farms in some of the Spanish Mediterranean's protected areas.

"There are still natural parks or marine reserves with very intense activities, which even at the local level endanger the health of the oceans that we want to protect — such as excessive recreational boating that leads to air pollution and health problems," he explained.

Euronews
Dr Josep Lloret, Director, Oceans and Human Health Chair, University of GironaEuronews

"Another example is cruise ships — even though they do not go through protected areas, they can pass very closely, also causing major contamination and problems for people's health and the health of the oceans.

"And finally the possible industrialisation of the sea, which is something we might be observing in this marine protected area of Cap de Creus which is considered for large offshore wind farms with 250 meters high turbines — almost the height of the Eiffel Tower, with a large-scale installation of cables and anchors on the seabed, which we believe can disturb this quality of the environment, this quality of the waters and the health benefits the sea offers us. So we must be very careful that the blue economy [that is] pressing ahead at full speed does not end up causing harm."

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