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What Is Marine Conservation Biology?

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  • Written By: Britt Archer
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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Marine conservation biology is a science whose goal is to try to preserve marine life and prevent any further loss of diversity. A number of areas of concern are addressed, such as the deterioration of coral reefs, threatened species and declining stocks of fish. Marine conservation biology seeks to use science to stem or eradicate these and other issues that are affecting marine life, collecting data to showcase the enormity of the problems so that ultimately they may be reversed or resolved before some species undergo complete destruction.

There are a variety of problems affecting marine life, leading to the need for a number of solutions that scientists must study. Coral reefs, for example, are under assault because of bleaching and destructive fishing customs. Many fish species are being harmed by high levels of mercury in the world’s oceans. To solve these and other pressing problems that affect marine life, a number of different disciplines work together in the field of marine conservation biology, including scientists from the fields of ecology, marine biology, oceanography and ichthyology, among others.

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The world’s oceans do not possess an unlimited number of resources, and scientists who work in the field of marine conservation biology battle the mistaken perception that animals and plants in the oceans are infinite. One of their main concerns is the number of endangered species. These include dolphins, whales, sharks, manatees and dugongs. These and other types of marine life are also plagued by pollution that comes from garbage and human waste as well as the runoff of chemicals, including sewage, radioactive waste and other types of pollutants. There is also a large area of manmade waste and debris floating in the northern Pacific Ocean called the Pacific Garbage Patch that was discovered in 1997.

The successful implementation of improvements sought by ecology conservation will benefit more than marine life. Improvements that come from marine conservation biology will also benefit people and countries. Coastal areas around the world depend on the seas for tourism, food, and recreation, and their economies are also tied closely to the health of the oceans.

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