Marine Ecosystem

Elsevier, Geography and Sustainability, Volume 1, December 2020
The Baltic Sea is essential for marine ecosystem services (MES) provision and the region's socio-economic dynamics. It is considered one of the busiest and most polluted regional seas in Europe. In recent years a collective effort in enforcing European and regional environmental policies and directives (e.g. Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC, 2000; Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56/EC, 2008; Maritime Spatial Planning Directive 2014/89/EU, 2014) has been carried out. Ecosystem Services assessment and mapping is integrated into these directives.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were designed to address interactions between the economy, society, and the biosphere. However, indicators used for assessing progress toward the goals do not account for these interactions. To understand the potential implications of this compartmentalized assessment framework, we explore progress evaluations toward SDG 14 (Life below Water) and intersecting social goals presented in submissions to the UN High-Level Political Forum.
Does humanity's future lie in the ocean? As demand for resources continues to grow and land-based sources decline, expectations for the ocean as an engine of human development are increasing. Claiming marine resources and space is not new to humanity, but the extent, intensity, and diversity of today's aspirations are unprecedented. We describe this as the blue acceleration—a race among diverse and often competing interests for ocean food, material, and space.
This article endeavours to contribute to the growing body of scholarship on SDG linkages by placing at the centre of its focus SDG 14 on the “conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” This article conceptualises the intricate interconnections between SDG 14 and other Goals based on the diverse benefits provided to humankind by marine ecosystems (in other words, through an ecosystem services lens).
This article contributes to a special issue examining SDG 14 and other international policy instruments for effective implementation of the Goal. This article focuses on island ocean states (IOS), or ‘small island developing states’ (SIDS), which are characterized by limited land and oceanic remoteness, creating local and international dependencies for food, livelihoods, trade and transport. While IOS contribute less than 1% to global green-house gases, they are directly impacted by extreme weather and climate change, in particular sea level rise.
Recently, the role which fisheries play in the provision of marine ecosystem services has been more widely acknowledged, largely as a result in recent years of fisheries management organisations developing and adopting more ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management (EAFM). Accordingly, several important management and science challenges have been identified. We argue that these challenges represent a number of important steps which underpin effective science based fisheries management, and when taken together and integrated, offer a logical framework by which to best achieve an EAFM.
In July 2015, Scotland became one of the first countries to sign up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which, unlike their forerunner the Millennium Development Goals, are not restricted to developing nations. Their respective targets should drive policy decisions for Scottish fisheries, in keeping with the universal intent of the new goals. This paper explores the relevance of SDG 14 to the Scottish fishing industry, noting that there are a number of linkages with other goals and targets that should be considered within management frameworks.
The increasing popularity of marine wildlife tourism (MWT) worldwide calls for assessment of its conservation outcomes and the development of appropriate management frameworks to ensure the conservation of the species and habitats involved as well as the long-term sustainability of this industry. While many studies have examined the positive and/or negative implications of particular forms of MWT, few have attempted to identify factors of concern shared across different types of marine tourism, or examine their implications for sustainability in a broader perspective.