Numerous beaches in Cyprus are heavily polluted. The pollution mainly comes from washed-up plastic waste as well as microplastic particles. Pollutants hit the holiday island hard, because both the flora and the fauna are affected. Garbage spoils the dreamy coast. A study has now found that the beaches in Northern Cyprus are among the most plastic-polluted in the world and that now threatens not only plants and animals, but also humans.
In a sense, Cyprus serves as a collecting station for other countries’ garbage, which comes mainly from Turkey, Syria, Israel, and Lebanon. Many tourists are shocked when they see such sights for the first time. Often, entire pebble-filled beaches on the island are full of rubbish, which is washed ashore by the sea. Most commonly found pieces of rubbish are various packaging, trays, and even shoes. You can use the labels to identify the country, where the garbage arrived from.
With such amounts of garbage, tourists’ health is affected too. You can remove large bits of garbage from the beach, but what is much more dangerous is a lot of microscopic pieces of plastic, which are often eaten by the fish with the algae. If people catch the fish and put them on their plate, the plastic gets into the human digestive system as well. On top of that, garbage also threatens numerous animal species, for example, sea turtles. Recently, this has affected newly hatched turtles as they get caught up in garbage and can no longer make it into the sea. Turtle offspring are rare as it is, usually only one animal in a thousand hatch, and now there are even fewer.
The Problem Is Worsening
Sadly, tourists see very little of this situation. Big hotels regularly clean their beaches from rubbish; therefore, the problem is mainly contained around famous areas. But the situation has worsened recently and that could have a dramatic impact on tourism in the future if the issue becomes visible to visitors.
The island offers many attractions and a large part of them offer a trip to the underwater world. The best example of this is the new underwater forest. Here you will find an exhibition that is reminiscent of a tree park, which the visitors are allowed to swim through. The developers of this attraction have gathered 100 impressive sculptures by the artist Jason deCaires Taylor, who specifically known for his underwater art. With his artwork, he wants to convey the message about the protection of marine ecosystems and his underwater forest represents the sea as a place of delicate togetherness.
His works depict trees, which he made of environmentally friendly concrete. The sculptures attract marine animals and encourage them to adopt the area as a habitat. Anyone wishing to see this exhibition must be able to dive or snorkel. There are diving guides and a ship on site. The maximum length of stay is one hour. Hopefully, the museum will create the awareness that is necessary to protect the health of the sea.