Area Requirements to Safeguard Earth's Marine Species

Elsevier, One Earth, VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, P188-196, FEBRUARY 21, 2020
Authors: 
Kendall R. Jones, Carissa J. Klein, Hedley S. Grantham, Hugh P. Possingham, Benjamin S. Halpern, Neil D. Burgess, Stuart H.M. Butchart, John G. Robinson, Naomi Kingston, Nina Bhola, and James E.M. Watson

Despite global policy commitments to preserve Earth’s marine biodiversity, many species are in a state of decline. Using data on 22,885 marine species, we identify 8.5 million km2 of priority areas that complement existing areas of conservation and biodiversity importance. New conservation priorities are found in over half (56%) of all coastal nations, including key priority regions in the northwest Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. We identify where different conservation actions, ranging from marine protected areas to broader policy approaches, might best overcome anthropogenic threats to these areas. This analysis shows 26%–41% of the ocean (depending on targets used for species representation) needs to be effectively managed and conserved through a combination of site-based actions and broad policy responses to achieve global conservation and sustainable development agendas.