February 17, 2016
The Assessment marks the first time ever that scientific experts have assessed the current knowledge on the biological, chemical, economic, physical and social aspects from an integrated, overall perspective. Steered by the 22 member Group of Experts of the Regular Process, the scientists selected from the Pool of Experts, comprised of some 600 members from all over the globe, have looked at the oceans, their flora and fauna and the ways in which humans are benefitting from, and impacting on the ocean.
In the 55-chapter Assessment, experts on a myriad of disciplines have examined a wide range of issues that affect the oceans’ ecosystems and marine biodiversity, including the impacts of climate change, ice coverage, the frequency of storms, ocean acidification, land-based activities, unsustainable fishing practices, shipping activities, invasive non-native species, offshore hydrocarbon industries and marine debris. And they found that the world’s oceans are in dire shape.
According to the Joint Coordinators of the Group of Experts that led the preparation of the Assessment, Alan Simcock (United Kingdom) and Lorna Inniss (Barbados), “The ocean is a very complex system, and its sustainable management requires us to keep our eye on many aspects simultaneously. There are many gaps in our knowledge of the ocean, in the world-wide capacities to apply it and in the related capacity-building, but solutions exist for many problems, and some have already been implemented in various parts of the world.”
Picture: Wulf Koehler