In Dead Water

priority zones for reductions in coastal pollutions to prevent a collapse of the reefs and the associated loss of their functions.

ational and tourist income regions. While there are projections of collapse in the World’s fisheries alone as a result of over-harvest, it is farmore likely that such collapsemay arise even earlier as a result of the rapid growth of multiple stressors, including climate change, acting in combination. Unless these interlinked and synergistic processes are seen and addressed together, the environmental and socio-economic impacts, particularly for impoverished coastal pop- ulations, may become severe. Building resilience by giving climate impact hot-spots priority with regard to reducing other stressors should become focus for future environmental programmes. The impacts of climate change on the marine environment are growing rapidly, and are likely to become much severe in coming decades. The lack of marine information and easy observation by man as a land-living organismhas permitted these and other pres- sures to progress much farther than anything we have yet seen or would have permitted without intervention on land, in spite of the fact that the oceans are crucial for life on Earth and represent a significant share of global economies and basic food supply. Unless other pressures are reduced in some of the primary fishing grounds, including bottom trawling and pollution, the impacts may become catastrophic, resulting in wide-spread death or strongly depleted fishing grounds, with severe impacts on countries, coastal economies, livelihoods and food supply. There are currently no international or widespread implement- ed national policies in place to ensure that such disaster is pre- vented. The urgency and relation to the continental shelves is critical, given the short time frame, severity and catastrophic nature of the already emerging impacts.

Similarly, it is also evident that the majority of the Worlds most damaging marine infestations have taken place in areas with large stresses and diminished resilience due to human activi- ties (e.g. in heavily harvested fishing grounds with extensive trawling/dredging). Hence, building resilience and strengthen- ing the natural buffers of marine (eco)systems has to become an essential element and consideration in the conservation, protection and sustainable management/use efforts at all lev- els, such as in the creation of system of marine protected areas spanning from coastal waters to the high seas. Of critical concern is the current lack of policies and protected areas covering deeper waters on the continental shelves and the high seas, including seamounts (Davies et al ., 2007; Mossop, 2007). On average, around 70% of the waters under national jurisdiction (e.g. within the EEZs of coastal states) are deeper than 200 meters, rising to over 95% in some island states. However, few countries are aware of their deep-waters and the need to explore, protect and manage the important services and resources these areas provide. Biodiversity hotspots form the basis of the Worlds fisheries, but have currently no basis in either marine protected areas or in spe- cific management. It is absolutely crucial that the management of these hotspots becomes an international environmental priority with regard to identifying areas where multiple stressors are likely to leave these water as death zones, lost fisheries and lost recre-


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