Blue Carbon

Aquatic ecosystems provide services that contribute to human welfare, both directly and indirectly. These may be recognized by their direct benefits, such as sources of employ­ ment, income and food security, tourism, scientific research and mineral extraction; by their indirect benefits, such as climate regulation and transportation; and by their intrin­ sic value, such as the conservation of biodiversity and social identities and their continu­ ation to support future generations (Kay and Alder, 2005). OCEANS’ BLUE CARBON SINKS AND HUMANWELLBEING

It is estimated, that the average annual value of services from the world’s coastal ecosystems exceeds US$25,000 billion per year (Martínez et al. , 2007). Hence, the coastal zone is of major economic importance today much as it has been throughout human history. Climate change is projected to impact across ecosystems, societ- ies and economies, increasing pressures on all livelihoods and food supplies, including those in the fisheries and aquaculture sector. Maintenance of food quality will have a more pivotal role

as resources come under greater pressure, and availability and access to, for example, fish supplies will become an increasingly critical development issue (Cochrane et al. , 2009; FAO, 2008). IMPACTS TO FOOD SECURITY THROUGH THE OCEANS AND COASTS The climate change induced alterations which the oceans will experience, including increasing temperatures, acidification and changes in currents will ultimately affect fisheries and aquacul- ture. Fish distributions are predicted to change, and already we

Fish catch

Tonnes per square kilometre 5 and more r r il tr Fish catch es per square kilometre 5 ore 5 1 t 3 0.5 o 1 .25 t .5 0 0. 3 to 5 1 to 3 0.5 to 1 3 to to . t 0. to 0. 0.25 to 0.5 0.2 to 0.25 .2 to .25 an r

Figure 20: The worlds most produc- tive fishing grounds are confined to major hotspots in around 7.5% of the ocean surface, where over half of the fish are caught.

Sources: based on Alhenius, H., 2008; FAO, 2008. rc s: s l i s, ., ; , . Source: based on Alhenius, H., 2008; Sea Aro nd Us project, personal communication October 2007 (University of British Columbia).


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