The ensuing COVID-19 lockdowns have shown to have positive effects on the environment. Amidst substantial socio-economic disruptions, we have seen a striking decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen dioxide, mostly as a result of lessened traffic congestion and reductions in movement. With a lot of work, these changes could have a long-lasting positive effect on global climate goals.
Lockdowns have also offered some downtime to the natural world, with clear skies and the return of wildlife to forests and waterways. Changing soundscapes have turned big cities to silent oases and oceans overwhelmed with ship traffic to quieter homes to species who have been forced to immigrate to deeper parts of the oceans or even brought to the brink of extinction.
The Adriatic Sea has been one of the areas that have seen positive changes due to reduced maritime traffic and restricted movement. Recent images of whales and dolphins swimming in waters off the Croatian shores have gone viral on social networks, prompting suggestions that nature is finally recovering. This is a hopeful indicator that this year could be one of the best for snorkeling in decades!
The abundance of fish and snorkeling sights that the Adriatic Sea has to offer has always attracted a lot of tourists. Unfortunately, global pollution, accumulation of plastic waste, and commercial fishing have had a negative impact on underwater visibility and wildlife. An increase in fish consumption has brought some of the protected species like tuna and shrimp to the brink of extinction. You are also less likely to see lobsters grouped together below the sea surface today than you were twenty years ago. Many species that used to swim freely around the Croatian shores have been forced to find a home in other parts of the world.
Despite these problems, the Adriatic Sea has preserved its rich underwater life which can be easily explored. As the sea is very clear and clean seas, underwater visibility is unparalleled. It is also one of the safest places to swim and snorkel, without any sharks or other dangerous species. What you will find is an abundance of fish, sea urchins, starfish, shellfish, octopi, dolphins, reefs, caves, and even shipwrecks and archaeological underwater sights along the coastline! Those who are passionate about fishing will be able to see and catch sardines, sea beams, gray mullets, pilchards, sprat, horse mackerels, and tuna. Once you’re ready to take a break, you will be able to relax one of the small coastal villages, pebbly beaches, and other beautiful sights in the area.
Rebounding sea life and reemergence of aquatic life, from whales to dolphins and other species of fish amidst the pandemic points to some good news: the Adriatic sea is on its way to healing. While there is still work that needs to be done to ensure that things don’t bounce back to where they were, we are seeing more fish than ever, which gives us hope that this year might be one of the best for exploring underwater life this decade!
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