New research from Swansea University has revealed that fish ‘meadows’ are being lost at the same rate as the Amazon rainforest.
Every hour, two football pitches worth of seagrass are lost, devastating the fish population which uses the environment for sheltering youngsters and feeding.
"The rate of loss is equal to that occurring in tropical rainforests and on coral reefs yet it receives a fraction of the attention," Dr Richard Unsworth, the university’s lead researcher, told the BBC.
"If you're a small fish, like a juvenile cod, then you need food and shelter. Seagrass meadows provide both.
"When you start to lose these habitats you'll see smaller juveniles and smaller fish stocks,” he added.
The research was conducted on behalf of the Natural Environment Research Council, in a global effort to conserve seagrass.