Round six billion tonnes of sand is dredged from the world’s oceans yearly, endangering marine life and coastal communities, the UN says.
Sand is essentially the most exploited pure useful resource on this planet after water and is used to provide concrete and glass.
The UN Surroundings Programme (UNEP) mentioned some vessels have been appearing as vacuum cleaners, dredging each sand and micro-organisms that fish feed on.
Which means life could by no means get well in some areas.
The brand new knowledge coincides with the launch of a brand new evaluation device known as Marine Sand Watch that displays dredging actions utilizing marine monitoring and synthetic intelligence.
“The dimensions of environmental impacts of shallow sea mining actions and dredging is alarming,” mentioned Pascal Peduzzi, who heads UNEP’s analytics centre GRID-Geneva.
The brand new platform estimates that out of some 50bn tonnes of sand and gravel utilized by humanity annually, a mean of six billion tonnes come from the world’s oceans and seas.
That is the equal of “a couple of million dump vans every single day”, Mr Peduzzi mentioned.
The marine surroundings should be given time to get well, he mentioned, including that “it is not sustainable”.
Massive vessels have been “mainly sterilising the underside of the ocean by extracting sand and crunching all of the microorganisms which might be feeding fish”, Mr Peduzzi mentioned.
Typically the sand is dredged to the bedrock, which means marine life could by no means get well, he added.
The UNEP really helpful that sand dredging also needs to be banned from seashores to guard coastal resilience and economies.
Sand is crucial for developing buildings, roads, hydroelectric damns and photo voltaic panels. It could possibly additionally play an vital environmental position, defending communities from rising sea ranges.
The South China Sea, the North Sea and the US east coast are among the many areas the place essentially the most dredging has occurred, the report states.