The Ocean and Us

Sustainability The sustainability of economic activities that use marine ecosystems services is in question. For some uses, sustainability thresholds may have been reached or exceeded already. The Ocean Health Index (OHI) score for sustainable seafood production is 51/100 and the score for sustainable tourism and recreation is 44/100 (OHI 2014). The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that the number of individuals fishing may need to be reduced by up to 22 million people in order to achieve a transition to globally sustainable fishing (UNEP, 2011). There is a need to both invest in the natural capital that underpins these sector points and to identify the particular thresholds of sustainability with respect to human use. Economic exploitation of marine ecosystems without reference to natural capital sustainability will undermine the achievement of (SDG 8 promote […] economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all )by running down the resources that would otherwise support its achievement. It is important to recognise that the pursuit of some SDGs could potentially jeopardise the continued provision of marine ecosystem services, and, as a result, also reduce progress towards achieving other SDGs. Unsustainable uses of marine and coastal ecosystem services, such as overfishing or high-impact tourism, will undermine the delivery of the ecosystem services that otherwise would contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. While harvesting seaweed, for example, may support sustainable agriculture (SDG2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture ), if harvested unsustainably, it can undermine the role of these plants in supporting fish stocks and thus diminish the social benefits associated with those stocks fish and also undermine the ecological resilience of affected coastal ecosystems (Rebours et al., 2014). There are additional, non-marine factors such as agricultural runoff, pollution andwaste (especially plastic), continued emissions of GHGs, and the development of

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