What is Marine Conservation? | How to Protect Our Oceans
- What is Marine Conservation? | How to Protect Our Oceans
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Welcome to the Natural World Facts Awareness Project, a series explaining the importance of wildlife conservation, particularly marine conservation, and what you can do to help. I’m joined by Alex Collins, a fellow YouTube wildlife enthusiast and biologist at the University of Bristol, who focuses on wildlife conservation.
Awareness Project Site: http://www.naturalworldfacts.com/awareness.html
Alex Collins: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNSg7NN4mdptrjuM-W6NRTQ
- What is Wildlife Conservation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMiIYvEF4_c
- How to Get Involved in Wildlife Conservation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcIGM-_d4bs
What is Marine Conservation?
Marine Conservation is the protection and preservation of ocean ecosystems, with a focus on limiting the damage caused to them by humans and preserving threatened marine species.
The main threats seen in our oceans are species loss, habitat degradation, and changes in ecosystem function. Human activities causing a rise in extinction rates has lead to a decrease in biodiversity, particularly in coral reefs, 88% of which are threatened by excessive CO2 emissions. These reefs are among the most important stores of biodiversity on the planet; it takes around 10 thousand years for a reef to form from coral polyps, and up to 30 million years for a reef to fully mature, hosting an estimated 25% of all marine life. Coral reefs are dying, as warming temperatures and stressful conditions bleach the corals white as they are forced to expel the colourful algae on which the coral depends for its survival.
Why is marine conservation important?
With the world’s oceans more under threat than ever, and with half of the world’s reefs having died in the last 30 years, Marine Conservation has never been more important.
Different species rely on each other. If one species is under threat, then so is another. This can have a chain reaction, until a whole ecosystem is under threat. We need healthy ecosystems just as much as the marine life, because without them, we’d have less food, less money, and less life on our planet. The bottom line is, life on Earth needs healthy oceans, and it's our responsibility to protect them.
How can we do this?
One method is to set up marine protected areas. This creates a safer environment for marine life, undisturbed by impacts of overfishing and noise pollution. Biodiversity has increased by 21% within marine reserves like these.
We also use artificial reefs, man-made structures built to promote marine life and growth of coral. Artificial reefs are successful in providing habitats for threatened wildlife, so allowing damaged ecosystems to recover, and the regeneration of valuable biodiversity within reef ecosystems.
As well as these strategies, we need to be careful in how we interact with the marine environment. Active demersal fishing techniques like trawling, where a net is dragged along the bottom of the ocean, destroys the seafloor, often containing ecologically important plant and coral species. Active pelagic fishing techniques, where a net is dragged through the open ocean, can be just as bad as it’s indiscriminate, so the nets catch anything in their way, regardless of whether the fishermen are looking for it. Thus protected animals like dolphins and turtles are injured or killed. For every 1 kilogram of prawns that are caught and sold, 9 kilograms of other animals are caught as bycatch, being injured or killed then thrown away.
Marine conservation efforts have been made to reduce destruction caused by these fishing techniques, either by reducing how often they can be used, or making the technique less destructive. E.g. specific fishing hooks are less likely to catch unwanted species.
Music: Serious Documentary - AShamaluevMusic.
Music Link: https://youtu.be/1x9xVwpWo7k
Quiet Place by Jonny Easton Link: https://youtu.be/coPASWZf0wg
Check out his channel
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