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Science Briefing

Crucial sea grass meadows decline

July 04, 2009|From Times Staff And Wire Reports

The world's sea grass meadows, a crucial habitat for marine life and a profit-maker for the fishing industry, are in decline because of coastal development, and the losses are accelerating, research has found.

Billed as the first comprehensive global assessment of sea grass losses, the study found that 58% of sea grass meadows were declining and that the rate of annual loss had accelerated from about 1% per year before 1940 to 7% per year since 1990.

The findings were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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