State of the World's Oceans / Edition 1

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This book provides a contemporary overview of the world's oceans. It identifies and describes the various problems which continue to threaten environmental quality and biodiversity, ranging from overfishing to the complex changes which could take place as a result of global climate change. Written by scientists working at the Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter in the UK, it is based upon the latest published scientific information. It draws upon the considerable and unique experience of Greenpeace as an organisation working on a diverse array of marine conservation issues at the international scale. The book is designed to serve a wide readership, both as a source of reliable information and as an introduction to the wide literature which exists on marine conservation issues. It is designed to be accessible by those pursuing academic studies as well as those with a more general interest in the factors which are shaping our oceans. As well as identifying the many problems, the book also outlines the ways in which the foundations and building blocks for clean, healthy and biodiverse seas can be provided, especially through the development of a global network of marine reserves.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews:

"A very comprehensive assessment of where we are in terms of the major threats to the seas of the world ... a very valuable book, particularly for undergraduate level" (Professor Martin J. Attrill, Professor of Marine Ecology, Associate Head of School (Research): Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, UK)

"Timely, well-informed and exhaustively referenced" (Dr. Mark Everard, Visiting Research Fellow, University of West of England, Independent sustainability consultant, author and broadcaster)

"The chapters on equity and greenhouse effects on marine environments provide information and perspective that will be new to many readers … . Anyone interested in perils facing marine habitats, resources, and uses can learn much from this book … . Summing Up: Recommended. … Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and general readers." (S. R. Fegley, Choice, Vol. 46 (11), July, 2009)

“This book provides a review of major issues relating to marine ecosystems. … The most recent citations in the reference list are from 2007 … . The book will be of interest to students of marine conservation policy and governance as an example of viewing a complex set of management problems through a single sectoral prism.” (Richard Kenchington, Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 17, December, 2010)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402091155
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 12/28/2008
  • Edition description: 2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Biodiversity 1

1.1 Introduction to Biodiversity 2

1.2 The Deep Oceans 3

1.2.1 Seamounts 4

1.2.2 Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vents 7

1.2.3 Bioprospecting in the Deep Sea 9

1.3 Biodiversity Hotspots at Sea in the Pelagic (Open Water) Zone 11

1.4 Coral Reefs 12

1.4.1 Biodiversity of Coral Reefs 12

1.4.2 Protection of Neighbouring Environments 16

1.4.3 Human Use of Coral Reefs 16

1.4.4 Threats to Coral Reefs 18

1.4.5 Reducing Threats and Conserving Coral Reefs 21

1.5 Mangroves 24

1.5.1 Biodiversity of Mangroves 25

1.5.2 Protection of Neigbouring Environments 26

1.5.3 Human Use of Mangroves 26

1.5.4 Threats to Mangroves 27

1.5.5 Reducing Threats and Conserving Mangroves 28

1.6 Seagrasses 28

1.6.1 Biodiversity of Seagrasses 29

1.6.2 Protection of Neighbouring Environments 30

1.6.3 Threats to Seagrasses 30

1.6.4 Reducing Threats and Conserving Seagrasses 31

2 Fisheries 33

2.1 Introduction 34

2.2 State of the World's Fish Stocks 34

2.2.1 Summary of FAO Figures for Marine Capture Fisheries 35

2.3 Fishery Collapses and Declines of Marine Fish 37

2.3.1 Collapse of Peruvian Anchovy and Atlantic Cod Fisheries 37

2.3.2 Declines in Predatory Fish 39

2.3.3 Declines in Other Species 43

2.3.4 Recovery Time for Fish Stocks Following Collapse 43

2.3.5 Fishing Down the Marine Food Web 44

2.3.6 Impacts on Ecosystems of Overfishing and Fishing Down the Food Web 45

2.4 Whaling and Declines of Cetaceans (Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises) 45

2.4.1 Historical Over-exploitation of Whales 45

2.4.2 The International Whaling Commission 46

2.4.3 Current Status of Commercial Whaling and Scientific Whaling: Threats to Cetaceans from Whaling47

2.4.4 Threats to Cetaceans from Fisheries 51

2.4.5 Protecting Cetaceans 53

2.5 Fishing Methods of Concern 53

2.5.1 Bottom-Trawling in the Deep Sea 53

2.5.2 Beam Trawling on the Western European Continental Shelf 59

2.5.3 Industrial Fishing 61

2.6 By - catch of Seabirds, Marine Mammals and Turtles 64

2.6.1 Seabirds 64

2.6.2 Marine Mammals 71

2.6.3 Marine Turtles 77

2.7 Towards Sustainable Fisheries 82

3 Aquaculture 85

3.1 Introduction 86

3.2 Negative Impacts of Aquaculture on People and on the Environment 89

3.2.1 Case Study 1: Shrimp Farming 89

3.2.2 Case Study 2: Salmon Farming 96

3.3 Use of Fishmeal, Fish Oil and Low Value or 'Trash' Fish in Aquaculture Feeds, and Associated Problems 104

3.3.1 A Growing Demand 104

3.3.2 Farming Carnivores: A Net Loss of Protein 105

3.3.3 Food Security Issues 106

3.4 Moving Towards More Sustainable Aquaculture Feedstuffs 106

3.4.1 Utilisation of Plant-Based Products 107

3.4.2 Utilisation of Fish Trimmings 109

3.5 Moving Towards More Sustainable Aquaculture Systems 110

3.5.1 Examples of IMTA Systems 111

3.5.2 Integrated Rice-Fish Culture 111

3.6 Recommendations 112

4 Pollution 115

4.1 Chemical Pollution 116

4.1.1 Brominated Flame Retardants 117

4.1.2 Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) 128

4.1.3 The Beginning of the End for Chemical Pollution? 137

4.2 Radioactive Pollution 138

4.3 Nutrient Pollution and Marine 'Dead Zones' 141

4.4 Oil Pollution 144

4.4.1 Effects of Oil Spills 145

4.4.2 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Alaska 1989 145

4.4.3 Prestige Oil Spill, Spain 2002 147

4.4.4 Solutions 148

4.5 Plastic Debris 149

4.5.1 Sources of Marine Debris 150

4.5.2 Harm to Marine Wildlife 151

4.5.3 Potential Invasion of Alien Species 154

4.5.4 Marine Debris Around the World 154

4.5.5 Solutions 155

5 Increasing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Impacts on the Marine Environment 157

5.1 Introduction 158

5.2 Sea Surface Temperature Increase 159

5.2.1 Ecological Impacts 159

5.2.2 Coral Bleaching 160

5.3 Sea-Level Rise 164

5.3.1 Impacts of Sea-Level Rise on Society and Wildlife 165

5.4 Climate Change and Fishing 167

5.5 The Ocean Conveyor Belt 167

5.6 Climate Change and the Arctic 169

5.6.1 Fish 171

5.6.2 Birds 171

5.6.3 Seals 171

5.6.4 Polar Bears 172

5.7 Climate Change and the Antarctic 174

5.7.1 Impact of Climate Change on Krill 174

5.7.2 Effects of Declining Krill Abundance on Other Animals 176

5.7.3 Effects of Changing Sea Temperature on Certain Antarctic Animals 176

5.8 Ocean Acidification and Its Impacts on Marine Organisms 177

5.9 The Way Forward 180

6 Equity 181

6.1 Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (Pirate Fishing) 182

6.1.1 Introduction 182

6.1.2 Pirate Fishing Rampant in West Africa 184

6.1.3 Pirates Plundering the Pacific 186

6.1.4 Daylight Robbery in the High Seas 186

6.1.5 Solutions 187

6.2 Tuna Ranching and Pirate Fishing: Wiping Out Tuna in the Mediterranean Sea 188

6.2.1 Quotas 188

6.2.2 Ranching and Pirate Fishing 189

6.2.3 Greenpeace Recommendations 191

6.2.4 An Unsustainable Future? 192

6.3 Freedom for the Seas 192

6.4 Unfair Fisheries 194

6.5 Trade Liberalisation (Free Trade) Means Empty Oceans 194

6.6 Towards Sustainable Fisheries 196

6.6.1 Greenpeace Action in the UK 197

6.6.2 Greenpeace Action in the Baltic 198

7 Marine Reserves 199

7.1 Introduction 200

7.2 Marine Reserves Defined 201

7.3 Benefits of Marine Reserves 203

7.3.1 Benefits to Fisheries 204

7.3.2 Other Benefits of Marine Reserves 205

7.4 Planning of Marine Reserves 205

7.4.1 Coverage of Marine Reserves 205

7.4.2 Size of Marine Reserves 206

7.4.3 Site Selection 208

7.4.4 Networking and Connectivity of Marine Reserves 211

7.4.5 Level of Replication 211

7.4.6 Spacing of Marine Reserves 211

7.4.7 Use of a Computer Program for Designing Networks 212

7.5 Implementation of Marine Reserves 212

Conclusion 215

Appendix 217

References 225

Index 255

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