A global horizon scan of issues impacting marine and coastal biodiversity conservation

James E. Herbert-Read* (Corresponding Author), Ann Thornton, Diva J. Amon, Silvana N.R. Birchenough, Isabelle M. Côté, Maria P. Dias, Brendan J Godley, Sally A. Keith, Emma McKinley, Lloyd S Peck, Ricardo Calado, Omar Defeo, Steven Degraer, Emma L. Johnston, Hermanni Kaartokallio, Peter I. Macreadie, Anna Metaxas, Agnes W.N. Muthumbi, David O. Obura, David M. PatersonAlberto R. Piola, Richardson Anthony J., Irene R. Schloss, Paul V.R. Snelgrove, Bryce D. Stewart, Paul Thompson, Gordon J. Watson, Thomas Worthington, Moriaki Yasuhara, William J. Sutherland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The biodiversity of marine and coastal habitats is experiencing unprecedented change. While there are well-known drivers of these changes, such as overexploitation, climate change, and pollution, there are also relatively unknown emerging issues that are poorly understood or recognised that have potentially positive or negative impacts on marine and coastal ecosystems. In this inaugural Marine and Coastal Horizon Scan, we brought together
30 scientists, policymakers, and practitioners with trans-disciplinary expertise in marine and coastal systems to identify novel issues that are likely to have a significant impact on the functioning and conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity over the next 5-10 years. Based on a modified Delphi voting process, the final 15 issues presented were distilled from a list of 75 submitted by participants at the start of the process. These issues are group into three categories: ecosystem impacts, for example the impact of wildfires and the effect of poleward migration on equatorial biodiversity; resource exploitation, including an increase in the trade of fish swim bladders and increased exploitation of marine collagens; and novel technologies, such as soft robotics and new bio-degradable products. Our early identification of these issues and their potential impacts on marine and coastal biodiversity will support scientists, conservationists, resource managers, and policymakers to address the challenges facing marine ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Ecology & Evolution
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 25 May 2022

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