Marine and coastal ecosystems provide many services to human society, including food and other goods, shoreline protection, water quality maintenance, waste treatment, support of tourism and other cultural benefits, and maintenance of the basic global life support systems.
The provision of these services is threatened by the worldwide degradation of marine and coastal ecosystems. Fisheries are in global decline. Coastal habitats have been modified and lost, and in many cases the rate of degradation is increasing. Habitat loss and modification result in a loss of ecosystem services and also threaten biodiversity (UNEP, 2006, p. 7).