This is ominous news. Expected to double the capacity of the Suez Canal, the expansion is sure to have a diverse range of effects, at local and regional scales, on both the biological diversity and the ecosystem goods and services of the Mediterranean Sea.
Of nearly 700 multicellular non-indigenous species (NIS) currently recognized from the Mediterranean Sea, fully half were introduced through the Suez Canal since 1869 (Galil et al. 2014). This is one of the most potent mechanisms and corridors for invasions by marine species known in the world. Further, molecular methods demonstrate high levels of gene flow between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean populations (Golani and Ritte 1999; Hassan et al. 2003; Bariche and Bernardi 2009).
Galil, B. S., Boero, F., Campbell, M. L., Carlton, J. T., Cook, E.
, Fraschetti, S., ... Ruiz, G. M. (2014). 'Double trouble': the expansion of the Suez Canal and marine bioinvasions in the Mediterranean Sea
. Biological Invasions
(4), 973-976. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-014-0778-y