Vielfalt im Meer droht weiter zurückzugehen

Im Rahmen der Biodiversitätskonferenz in Nagoya hat das Umweltprogramm der UN (UNEP) einen Bericht veröffentlicht, demzufolge die marine Biodiversität stark zurückgehen wird, wenn keine weiteren Schutzmechanismen entwickelt werden.

Der Studie zufolge werden sich die Fangmengen bis 2050 in nahezu allen Fischereigebieten verringert haben, so dass Fischern hauptsächlich kleinere Fische am unteren Ende der Nahrungskette übrigbleiben.

Meeresschutzgebiete sind ein wichtiges Mittel um die Artenvielfalt zu erhalten. Laut UNEP-Daten machen diese 1,2 Prozent der gesamten Meeresfläche aus. Das für 2010 anvisierte Ziel, 10 Prozent der Meere als Schutzgebiete auszuweisen, wurde deutlich verfehlt.

Eine zusätzliche Bedrohung geht auch von den wachsenden Stickstoffmengen im Wasser aus. Diese stammen aus Abwassereinleitungen und dem Schiffverkehr und können „tote Zonen“ herbeiführen, in denen der Sauerstoffgehalt zu niedrig ist. Dem Bericht zufolge gibt es bereits jetzt 246.000 Quadratkilometer dieser unbelebaren Gebiete. Neben der Übenutzung durch die Fischerei gibt es eine zusätzliche Bedrohung für die Artenvielfalt: Der steigende Schiffverkehr kann zu Ölverschmutzungen und der Einführung von Neophyten beitragen. [lk]

Fish Populations to Decline Drastically-UNEP

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Fish population to shrink drastically over next 40 years: UN report 2010-10-21 17:11:16 FeedbackPrintRSS

A report released by the United Nations
Environment Programme predicted that the fish populations in the world will
decline drastically in the next 40 years due to the factors including
overfishing, rises in sea surface temperatures, and marine pollution, local
media reported on Thursday.

It warns that larger species such as tuna will almost disappear, leaving
fisheries dependent on smaller species measuring around 20 centimeters, the
public broadcaster NHK reported.

The release of the report on marine ecosystems coincided with an ongoing
international conference on biodiversity in the central Japanese city of

Representatives from all corners of the world gathered in the central
Japanese city of Nagoya on Monday for the 10th meeting of the Conference of
the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, known as COP10.

If the marine environment continues to deteriorate at the current rate,
multi-million dollar services including fisheries and tourism could be
adversely affected, UNEP officials were quoted as saying. They called for
urgent countermeasures.

According to a separate UN report released at the meeting on Wednesday, the
world will suffer an annual economic loss of some 4.5 trillion U.S.
dollars if no measures are taken to protect ecosystems and maintain
biological diversity.


Nagoya 2010: UNEP Report Shows Rising Threats to Marine Biodiversity

UNEP Regional Sea report Outlines Outlook for Action

Nagoya/Japan, 19 October 2010-The environmental and economic health of the
World Seas-present and future-is outlined today in a report that underlines
growing concern from pressures such as pollution, over-fishing and climate

The report, the Marine Biodiversity Assessment and Outlook: Global Synthesis
by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) predicts that by 2050 productivity
will have decreased in nearly all areas and with it fish catches. Worldwide
fisheries will be heavily dominated by smaller species lower down the food

Meanwhile climate change, if unchecked, could see surface sea temperatures
rise by 2100 with important implications for coral reefs and other
temperature-sensitive marine organisms.

Other predicted changes include a continued and widespread increase in
nitrogen levels.

This is linked with discharges of wastewaters and agricultural run off from
the land and, to an extent, emissions from vehicles and shipping.

Nitrogen can trigger algal blooms which in turn can poison fish and other
marine creatures as well as contribute to the development of so called ‚dead
zones‘-areas of sea with low oxygen concentrations. These areas have
increased since the mid-1960s and now cover an estimated 246,000 km2.

The report also flags concerns over the rise in marine invasive species,
transported to regions from elsewhere often in ballast water of ships or
attached to its hull. Furthermore, it highlights that the cumulative impacts
of all of these factors will have serious consequences in the rise of
extinctions of native marine species across all regions.

The continuing decline in marine biodiversity will compromise the resilience
of marine and coastal ecosystems to the impacts of climate change, as well
as their ability to mitigate the effects of climate change, says the report
released alongside individual regional seas reports at the 10th Conference
of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan.

Why will extinctions happen?

Other areas of concern are linked with the fate of shell-building marine
organisms, such as corals and copepods at the base of the food chain, as a
result of rising concentrations of C02-so-called acidification.

Such organisms need minerals like aragonite to make their calcium skeletons.
There is already evidence that concentrations of aragonite is falling across
the regions as atmospheric C02 concentrations increase and are absorbed by
the oceans-a trend that is set to continue and at ever lower depths unless
global greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director,
said: „Decoupling growth from rising levels of pollution is the number one
challenge facing this generation-this is nowhere more starkly spotlighted
than in the current and future health of the world’s sea and oceans.“

„Multi-trillion dollar services, including fisheries, climate-control and
ones underpinning industries such as tourism are at risk if impacts on the
marine environment continue unchecked and unabated. Governments are rising
to the challenge through actions under the Regional Seas Conventions and
Action Plans. This global report, based on 18 regional reports, underlines
that ambition and actions now need to match the scale and the urgency of the
challenge,“ he said.

Way Forward

The Global Synthesis report forms a baseline for understanding the main
drivers of change and management responses relating to marine biodiversity.

Given that the nature and dynamics of oceans are transboundary, actions must
be taken by all regions. While there are good regional examples, the report
identified that management performance in many areas is generally
insufficient and inadequately coordinated to address the growing problems of
marine biodiversity decline and ecosystem change.

Moving forward, the preparation of National Programmes of Action (NPAs) for
protecting the marine environment from land-based activities will be key in
the years to come for each country. Already a number of countries have
adopted NPAs or equivalent instruments.

For instance, in 2007 Japan enacted an equivalent of the NPA: the Basic Act
on Ocean Policy, and established a legal system that regulates land-based
activities in order to protect the marine environment.

However, further actions must include cross sectoral approaches such as
ecosystem-based management to address activities and impacts affecting
marine ecosystems, given that the combination of pressures from increasing
human uses and the expected effects of rising temperatures and acidification
of sea water promises an unwelcoming outlook for marine biodiversity and
human activities that depend upon it.

Regionally, countries are working together to find solutions and adopting
international provisions of Conventions and Protocols. For example, the
protocols of the Regional Seas Conventions and Actions provide useful policy
platforms for countries to collaborate towards meeting targeted goals to
manage their shared marine environment.

Similarly, in many parts of the world, countries have adopted the
International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships‘
Ballast Water and Sediments: one important step towards cutting
introductions of marine invasive species.

Currently, the total number of contracting parties to the Convention is 27,
signaling keen interest to turn the Ballast Water Convention into national

The challenge is underlined in the report with shipping figures. Growth in
total shipping traffic reflect regional variations, however, the global
annual average growth of shipping traffic is between 9% – 10% with faster
growth of bulk cargoes on some routes which pose the most threat to
introducing invasive species.

Extending Marine Protected Areas (MPA) worldwide has so far reached 1.17% of
global ocean surface, or 4.32% of continental shelf areas.
However, current levels fall far short of the target of 10% of the marine
environment to be included as Protected Areas set by the 7th Conference of
Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2004.

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are being established as primary biodiversity
management measures in all regions. Well managed marine protected areas can,
for example, improve spawning rates and fish stocks.

The series provide a snapshot of the situation in 2010. Their preparation
has revealed major differences in data availability, analytical protocols
and in preparedness and approaches for the management of marine
biodiversity, natural resources and ecosystem services. They stand as a
baseline for future assessments as part of the Regular Process for the
Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment

Notes to Editors

The Marine Biodiversity Assessment and Outlook Series report for UNEP is
available on

The series provide many lessons and insights and a basis for a consistent
set of indicators for Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans to monitor
the impact of global and regional measures on protecting and managing marine

About UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme

The Regional Seas Programme, launched in 1974 in the wake of the 1972 United
Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm, is one of
UNEP’s most significant achievements in the past 30 years.

The Regional Seas Programme aims to address the accelerating degradation of
the world’s oceans and coastal areas through the sustainable management and
use of the marine and coastal environment and by engaging neighbouring
countries in comprehensive and specific actions to protect their shared
marine environment. It has accomplished this by stimulating the creation of
the Regional Seas Programmes‘ prescriptions for sound environmental
management to be coordinated and implemented by countries sharing a common
body of water.

Today, more than 140 countries are participating in the13 Regional Seas
Programmes. Six of these Programmes are directly administered by UNEP.

For More Information Please Contact:

Nick Nuttall, Spokesperson/Head of Media UNEP, Mobile in Japan, +81 80 3660
1001 and Roaming: +41 7959 65737, Email: