eCite Digital Repository

Safeguarding marine life: conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems


Ward, D and Melbourne-Thomas, J and Pecl, GT and Evans, K and Green, M and McCormack, PC and Novaglio, C and Trebilco, R and Bax, N and Brasier, MJ and Cavan, EL and Edgar, G and Hunt, HL and Jansen, J and Jones, R and Lea, M-A and Makomere, R and Mull, C and Semmens, JM and Shaw, J and Tinch, D and van Steveninck, TJ and Layton, C, Safeguarding marine life: conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems, Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 32, (1) pp. 65-100. ISSN 0960-3166 (2022) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2022 The Authors Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11160-022-09700-3


Marine ecosystems and their associated biodiversity sustain life on Earth and hold intrinsic value. Critical marine ecosystem services include maintenance of global oxygen and carbon cycles, production of food and energy, and sustenance of human wellbeing. However marine ecosystems are swiftly being degraded due to the unsustainable use of marine environments and a rapidly changing climate. The fundamental challenge for the future is therefore to safeguard marine ecosystem biodiversity, function, and adaptive capacity whilst continuing to provide vital resources for the global population. Here, we use foresighting/hindcasting to consider two plausible futures towards 2030: a business-as-usual trajectory (i.e. continuation of current trends), and a more sustainable but technically achievable future in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We identify key drivers that differentiate these alternative futures and use these to develop an action pathway towards the desirable, more sustainable future. Key to achieving the more sustainable future will be establishing integrative (i.e. across jurisdictions and sectors), adaptive management that supports equitable and sustainable stewardship of marine environments. Conserving marine ecosystems will require recalibrating our social, financial, and industrial relationships with the marine environment. While a sustainable future requires long-term planning and commitment beyond 2030, immediate action is needed to avoid tipping points and avert trajectories of ecosystem decline. By acting now to optimise management and protection of marine ecosystems, building upon existing technologies, and conserving the remaining biodiversity, we can create the best opportunity for a sustainable future in 2030 and beyond.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:marine biodiversity, conservation, climate change adaptation and mitigation, ecosystem management, ecosystem services, Indigenous knowledge, integrated management, stewardship, Sustainable Development Goals, foresighting/hindcasting
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Ward, D (Dr Delphi Ward)
UTAS Author:Melbourne-Thomas, J (Dr Jessica Melbourne-Thomas)
UTAS Author:Pecl, GT (Professor Gretta Pecl)
UTAS Author:Green, M (Ms Madeline Green)
UTAS Author:McCormack, PC (Ms Phillipa McCormack)
UTAS Author:Novaglio, C (Dr Camilla Novaglio)
UTAS Author:Trebilco, R (Dr Rowan Trebilco)
UTAS Author:Bax, N (Ms Narissa Bax)
UTAS Author:Brasier, MJ (Dr Madeleine Brasier)
UTAS Author:Edgar, G (Professor Graham Edgar)
UTAS Author:Jansen, J (Dr Jan Jansen)
UTAS Author:Lea, M-A (Professor Mary-Anne Lea)
UTAS Author:Makomere, R (Mr Reuben Makomere)
UTAS Author:Semmens, JM (Professor Jayson Semmens)
UTAS Author:Shaw, J (Dr Jenny Shaw)
UTAS Author:Tinch, D (Dr Dugald Tinch)
UTAS Author:Layton, C (Dr Cayne Layton)
ID Code:152993
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2022-09-01
Last Modified:2022-11-23
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page