Marine life, also known as sea life, ocean life, and other similar terms, is comprised of organisms, plants, and animals that contribute to the well-being of our planet. Many of these creatures are important to the health of our planet by contributing to the production of oxygen and sequestering carbon. These creatures make our planet’s water quality and its climate more stable.
The marine environment is an integral part of our ecosystem and is a vital resource for humankind. As a biocultural resource, it contains a variety of species, including plants, animals, and microorganisms, and it regulates valuable resources such as fish and seaweed. The annual value of these resources is estimated at $300 billion. Therefore, it is crucial that we protect the marine environment, and implement policies that will promote conservation. The United Nations has set the goal of achieving sustainable use of the ocean by 2050.
The ocean contributes a variety of ecosystem services, including regulating carbon dioxide emissions and generating oxygen. It also serves as a valuable indicator of climate change. Recent changes in climate have caused widespread changes in marine species distribution and trophic interactions. These changes, in turn, will affect the functioning of ecosystems.
The distribution of marine life varies greatly around the globe. In the past, there were high levels of diversity along the equator, but that has since changed. As temperatures have increased, more pelagic species have shifted poleward. The tropics have long been the ideal habitat for many marine species, but today, these waters have become too warm for many of these species.
Researchers have discovered that marine species are reacting to global warming at faster rates than land-dwelling species. They found that marine species are moving toward the polar regions at a rate up to 72 kilometers per decade. This is significantly faster than the six kilometers that land-based species are moving toward the equator.
The Census of Marine Life (CML) is a 10-year scientific initiative that will map the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life on Earth. The goal is to understand what makes our oceans so unique and important. The CML team will compile this information into a report that will be released in 2010.
This program is being launched in response to calls for more research on the abundance of marine life. The goal is to determine the most valuable zones of the ocean for conservation and fishing. It will reveal which areas contain the highest concentration of marine life. There are numerous benefits to this program, which can also be considered a “Moonshot” initiative.
The results of the Census of the Oceans project are published in the Open Biodiversity Information System (OBIS), a public data portal for over 800 quality-controlled data collections. OBIS contains analysis from Census scientists on over 22 million records. These scientists estimate biodiversity indices, corrected for sampling intensity, to identify patterns in marine biodiversity.
Impacts of anthropogenic activities on marine life
This study examined the cumulative impacts of anthropogenic activities on marine life. In particular, the study examined the impacts of non-cargo shipping, coastal engineering, disease, and tourism. The findings revealed that anthropogenic activities are negatively impacting marine life at a global scale.
While these stressors are likely to be harmful to all marine life, some species are more vulnerable than others. Failure to curb these stressors could have serious consequences for human society. It is imperative to reduce the impact of anthropogenic activities on oceans and marine ecosystems.
These impacts are widespread and have an increasing magnitude. Over time, these activities can have a cumulative effect on marine ecosystems and cause ecosystem collapse. Recent studies have highlighted the increasing pressure on marine biodiversity, with fishing and other direct human disturbance from land being the most significant threats.