Research launched to study changes in sea conditions due to pandemic

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Italy has launched a research campaign to assess potential changes in the maritime environment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government lockdown, imposed at the beginning of March, meant there was much less activity in the water: no ferries or boats, and far fewer fishing vessels. 

While air pollution in the main Italian cities abruptly decreased as car traffic decreased dramatically, maritime biologists are sceptical about substantial changes in sea water contamination.

They will take samples from the water in an attempt to understand how the sea has been affected by the lockdown.

Beyond looking for chemical and biological changes, the sampling programme will also monitor potential variations in the behaviour of marine wildlife. 

First results of the campaign are expected after 18 May.

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