Today’s Solutions: September 27, 2022

Marine conservation is critical for ocean health and the continued survival of marine species, but when it comes to protecting our oceans, some regions pack a bigger conservation punch than others. A new study from the University of California, Santa Barbara has mapped out which areas of the ocean, if protected, would offer the most benefits in terms of species protection and climate change mitigation. 

To come to their conclusion, the researchers studied the unprotected regions of the ocean using an algorithm focused on three factors: biodiversity protection, seafood production, and climate mitigation. They used these metrics to map out where conservation measures would have the most impact.

Previous studies have determined that at least 30 percent of the world’s oceans must be protected to preserve marine health and corresponding benefits for our world. This study expands on that and finds that if that 30 percent overlapped with these mapped out regions, 80 percent of marine species would be protected, the fishing catch would increase by more than 8 million metric tons, and more than one billion tons of carbon dioxide would be prevented from entering the atmosphere. 

A majority of the identified regions lie within 200 miles of coastlines, meaning they could be regulated by those countries which they border. The remainder would have to be protected with international agreements. Within the identified areas, the most widely cited protection needed is fishing regulations. Overfishing has depleted certain populations to the verge of extinction, but if conservation measures are enacted, populations will bounce back so fishing can continue in a stable manner for generations. 

This study emphasizes that targeted and strategic conservation can protect our oceans and the species that rely on them while also slowing climate change and stabilizing the ocean-based resources we depend on for food. The researchers hope this map will offer a blueprint for countries looking for a place to start on ocean conservation. Study coauthor Darcy Bradley says, “Our approach is a way to bring multiple stakeholders to the table, to show that their interests can be prioritized, and ultimately to demonstrate that solutions that protect large ocean areas and benefit multiple simultaneous objectives exist.”

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Britain’s four-day workweek trial shows no loss in productivity 

According to a survey of participants published last Wednesday, the majority of the companies taking part in a four-day workweek pilot program in Britain ...

Read More

How to cook your veggies to boost their anti-inflammatory powers

Every year the cold winter weather doesn’t only put frost on the grass, it also brings an increased chance of getting sick. And that’s ...

Read More

The southern jet stream is moving back to normal thanks to global efforts

Have you ever heard of the southern jet stream? It’s a powerful wind that shapes weather patterns and ocean currents in the southern hemisphere, ...

Read More

Indians recently planted 250 million trees—while socially distancing

India is committed to keeping a third of its total land area under forest and tree cover. In recent years the country has mobilized ...

Read More