Protecting the global ocean for biodiversity, food and climate

Sala, Enric, Mayorga, Juan, Bradley, Darcy, Cabral, Reniel B., Atwood, Trisha B., Auber, Arnaud, Cheung, William, Costello, Christopher, Ferretti, Francesco, Friedlander, Alan M., Gaines, Steven D., Garilao, Cristina, Goodell, Whitney, Halpern, Benjamin S., Hinson, Audra, Kaschner, Kristin, Kesner-Reyes, Kathleen, Leprieur, Fabien, McGowan, Jennifer, Morgan, Lance E., Mouillot, David, Palacios-Abrantes, Juliano, Possingham, Hugh P., Rechberger, Kristin D., Worm, Boris, and Lubchenco, Jane (2021) Protecting the global ocean for biodiversity, food and climate. Nature, 592. pp. 397-402.

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Abstract

The ocean contains unique biodiversity, provides valuable food resources and is a major sink for anthropogenic carbon. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are an effective tool for restoring ocean biodiversity and ecosystem services1,2, but at present only 2.7% of the ocean is highly protected3. This low level of ocean protection is due largely to conflicts with fisheries and other extractive uses. To address this issue, here we developed a conservation planning framework to prioritize highly protected MPAs in places that would result in multiple benefits today and in the future. We find that a substantial increase in ocean protection could have triple benefits, by protecting biodiversity, boosting the yield of fisheries and securing marine carbon stocks that are at risk from human activities. Our results show that most coastal nations contain priority areas that can contribute substantially to achieving these three objectives of biodiversity protection, food provision and carbon storage. A globally coordinated effort could be nearly twice as efficient as uncoordinated, national-level conservation planning. Our flexible prioritization framework could help to inform both national marine spatial plans4 and global targets for marine conservation, food security and climate action.

Item ID: 71163
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1476-4687
Copyright Information: © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2021, corrected publication 2021
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2021 22:33
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 50%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300505 Fisheries management @ 25%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410199 Climate change impacts and adaptation not elsewhere classified @ 25%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1999 Other environmental policy, climate change and natural hazards > 199999 Other environmental policy, climate change and natural hazards not elsewhere classified @ 50%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180504 Marine biodiversity @ 50%
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