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Lop Is Great

By christiano01 May 06, 2013 404 Words
Threats to Marine Biodiversity

Biodiversity' is the name for the variety of all biological life. This includes plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms, the genes they contain and the ecosystems they live in. 'Marine biodiversity' refers to this variety of life in coastal and ocean environments. Biodiversity loss has become one of the greatest environmental concerns of the last century, owing to increasing pressure on the environment by humans combined with the realisation that our activities can seriously threaten the future sustainability of marine species and ecosystems. Marine biodiversity in Europe is threatened by the fact that many of the goods and services provided by marine ecosystems are exploited in a non-sustainable way. In some cases, marine ecosystems are threatened to the extent that their structure and function is being jeopardised.

The most serious threats to marine biodiversity are:

• Over exploitation - recreational and commercial
• Pollution
• Habitat destruction and fragmentation
• Non-native species invasions
• Global climate change

Threats to marine biodiversity have widespread social, economic, and biological consequences, the combination of which could threaten our own existence, including: • Economic losses through unemployment and reduced productivity • Dramatic reductions in the numbers of many popular edible fish and shellfish • Extinction of species that might be useful in developing new medicines • Reduced ability of ecosystems to respond to disaster, both natural (floods) and man-made (pollution) • Accelerated global climate change

• Social and political instability

Threats to Marine Biodiversity
There is broad scientific agreement that marine biodiversity is seriously threatened by human activities. According to the US Committee on Biological Diversity in Marine Systems*, the most serious threats to marine biodiversity are: • fishing operations

• chemical pollution and eutrophication
• alteration of physical habitat invasions of exotic species • global climate change.

The US Committee on Biological Diversity in Marine Systems* has assessed that widespread social, economic and biological impacts of these threats include: • dramatic reductions in most of the preferred edible fish and shellfish • loss of species with potential for biomedical products • changes in the basic functioning of ecosystems.

* "Understanding Marine Biodiversity: A Research Agenda for the Nation" Committee on Biological Diversity in Marine Systems. National Academy Press. Washington DC 1995. In New Zealand 
Many human activities in and around New Zealand impact on our marine biodiversity, including: • fishing - recreational and commercial land use - through sediments and pollution • exotic pests - introduced by shipping in ballast water and fouled hulls •  human induced climate change - affects ocean temperature and levels.

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