Ocean Action Hub

Resource title

How is human well-being linked with the sea?

24 Aug 2018 - Scientists have cataloged over 30 ways that the sea supports human well-being, including providing a source of nutrition, supplying raw materials and supporting recreational activities.

24 Aug 2018 - Researchers from the University of Liverpool in the UK explored the different ways that European seas including North East Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea support and link to human well-being.

Scientists have cataloged over 30 ways that the sea supports human well-being, including providing a source of nutrition, supplying raw materials and supporting recreational activities.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool in the UK explored the different ways that European seas including North East Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea support and link to human well-being.

It is known that marine biodiversity supports human well-being in many ways and that people benefit from links between the flora and fauna of the sea and the 'ecosystem services'.

However, such an extensive catalog of the links between marine ecosystems and human well-being has not previously existed.

The study found 31 different ecosystem services, including providing a source of nutrition through the supply of seafood, providing raw materials, for example, marine plants used in cosmetics, producing oxygen, providing natural flood defenses and also providing opportunities for recreation, artistic inspiration, and enhancement of spiritual wellbeing.

Some of these, like seafood, have significant economic value and others enrich our lives in other essential and non-essential ways.

"We rely on the sea in more ways than we often realize. Our study has tried to document all of these ways," said Fiona Culhane, a researcher with the University of Liverpool.

"This is important because these ecosystem services rely on the condition of the biodiversity that supplies them. If we don't recognize this and protect biodiversity, we risk losing the benefits we get," said Culhane.

A key aspect of the study was the development of meaningful units in which to group marine biodiversity in relation to how they supply ecosystem services.

The service providing units (SPUs) developed include combinations of taxa with all habitats they spend time in.

"The development of meaningful service providing units allows managers to fully appreciate which aspects of biodiversity underpin the sustainable supply of services that humans rely on," said Leonie Robinson, principal investigator on the study published in the journal Ecological Applications.

"Without making the link between habitats and mobile marine taxa like whales and fish, it is likely that habitats that may seem unconnected or remote are missed when considering conservation," said Robinson.

CONTINUE READING: https://www.devdiscourse.com/Article/133340-how-human-well-being-is-link...

Resource title

UK pledges protection for corals

9 Apr 2018 - The UK has officially joined the Coral Reef Life Declaration, committing to safeguarding coral reefs.

9 Apr 2018 - The UK has joined a global battle to safeguard the world’s coral reefs from climate change and rising sea temperatures, Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey announced today.

International work to protect these vital marine habitats is gathering momentum as coral reefs come under increasing pressure from climate change and human activity – and today the UK officially joined the Coral Reef Life Declaration, committing to safeguard coral reefs and bolster scientific research into the threats they face.

The announcement comes just one week ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, where member states will gather in London to agree on further global measures to protect our oceans.

From Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef to 8,000-year-old cold-water corals off the coast of the UK, the countries of the Commonwealth account for nearly half the world’s coral reefs – and over 250 million people across the Commonwealth depend directly on coral reefs for food and income.

Speaking from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, where High Commissioners and members of the UK’s science community gathered today to celebrate marine science across the Commonwealth, the Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:

Few people know the waters around the UK contain riches to rival the tropics – with our waters home to a vast array of cold water coral reefs that protect important marine life.

Through tapping into the UK’s world-leading marine science and working with our partners across the Commonwealth, we will help to safeguard this vital habitat and protect our oceans for future generations.

The Coral Reef Life Declaration was launched by Prince Albert II of Monaco at the Our Ocean conference in Malta in October last year to encourage countries to come together to protect coral reefs. So far 12 countries have signed the declaration, including Australia, Fiji, and Seychelles.

The UK’s waters are home to cold-water corals over 8,000 years old, with the only known coral reef in English waters protected as a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ).

The Canyons MCZ, located off the Cornish coast, covers an area of more than 650 km2 and was designated in 2013 to protect the cold-water corals found there. There are also extensive reefs off the west coast of Scotland where there are seven Marine Protected Areas safeguarding this fragile habitat from damage.

The UK’s Overseas Territories also hold a huge array of tropical and cold water coral reefs. Through our Blue Belt programme, we are currently on track to protect over four million square kilometers of the ocean across the Overseas Territories by 2020, working with local communities to protect the coral species within.

This year has also been made the International Year of the Reef by the International Coral Reef Initiative – the leading organization dedicated to protecting these habitats.

CONTINUE READING: https://www.devdiscourse.com/Article/3439-uk-pledges-protection-for-corals