11:32 am - Monday May 28, 2012

Marine Conservation

Marine conservation, also known as marine resources conservation, is the protection and preservation of ecosystems in oceans and seas. Marine conservation focuses on limiting human-caused damage to marine ecosystems, and on restoring damaged marine ecosystems. Marine conservation also focuses on preserving vulnerable marine species.

Marine conservation is the study of conserving physical and biological marine resources and ecosystem functions. This is a relatively new discipline. Marine conservationists rely on a combination of scientific principles derived from marine biology, oceanography, and fisheries science, as well as on human factors such as demand for marine resources and marine law, economics and policy in order to determine how to best protect and conserve marine species and ecosystems. Marine conservation can be seen as subdiscipline of conservation biology.

Human Impact
The deterioration of coral reefs is mainly linked to human activities – 88% of coral reefs are threatened through various reasons as listed above, including excessive amounts of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) emissions. Oceans absorb approximately 1/3 of the CO2 produced by humans, which has detrimental effects on the marine environment. The increasing levels of CO2 in oceans change the seawater chemistry by decreasing the level of pH. This process is also known as acidification. Acidification negatively affects the carbonate buffering system and drops the carbonate saturation by 30%, which results in a decrease in reef calcification. Reductions in calcification have negative implications on calcifiers, such as corals and shellfish. Some examples include diminishing coral resilience from bleaching, decreasing organisms’ ability to fight off predators, inhibiting their potential to compete for food, and altering behavior patterns. When the bottom of the food web declines tremendously due to acidification, the food web and the whole marine conservation effort is jeopardized.

Although humans cause the greatest threat to our marine environment, humans also have the ability to create effective management plans that will be the key to successful marine conservation. Although the most widely known conservation tool is the MPA, one of the best marine conservation tools simply stems from smarter individualist choices we make in efforts to reduce CO2 emissions on a daily basis.

Techniques
Strategies and techniques for marine conservation tend to combine theoretical disciplines, such as population biology, with practical conservation strategies, such as setting up protected areas, as with marine protected areas (MPAs) or Voluntary Marine Conservation Areas. Other techniques include developing sustainable fisheries and restoring the populations of endangered species through artificial means.

Marine conservation technologies are devices used to protect endangered and threatened marine organisms and/or habitat. Marine conservation technologies are innovative and revolutionary because they reduce bycatch, increase the survivorship and health of marine life and habitat, and benefit fishermen who depend on the resources for profit. Examples of technologies include marine protected areas (MPAs), turtle excluder devices (TEDs), and radio-frequency identification (RFID). Commercial practicality plays in important role in the success of marine conservation because it is necessary to cater to the needs of fishermen while also protecting marine life.

Be Sociable, Share!
<-- Google Analytics Start --> <-- Google Analytics End--> <-- Infolinks Start--> <-- Infolinks End-->