A team of scientists from across the UK, led by the Marine Conservation Research Group at the University of Plymouth, has urged the government to rethink its approach to marine conservation in order to address the decline in biodiversity. They published their research in the journal ‘Marine Policy,’ addressing the issue and making recommendations to Government ministers.
Marine ecosystems deliver a wide range of resources and services which are critical to the survival of fisheries and human wellbeing. Additionally, healthy marine ecosystems absorb huge volumes of carbon, helping to tackle climate change. Therefore, it is vital to repair marine habitats rather than managing them in their reduced state.
Dr Sian Rees, Senior Research Fellow in the University's School of Biological and Marine Sciences and the paper's lead author stated: ‘2020 is a critical year for ocean protection as we build towards the UN Decade of Ocean Science, and a year where Governments have been invited to step up and support action to halt the global decline in marine biodiversity.’
Dr Bryce Beukers-Stewart, a marine ecologist from the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York agrees that management of marine protected areas (MPAs) and the ocean will ensure long-term benefits for conservation, fisheries and human-wellbeing.
Beukers-Stewart adds that ecological connectivity and collaboration are crucial variables in the approach to protection and to recovering our oceans.
- Ocean-related solutions to mitigate climate rise
- Focus on net positive outcomes for nature
- SCI's Environment, Health and Safety Group