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Seagrass meadows support global fisheries production

Unsworth, Richard, Nordlund, Lina and Cullen-Unsworth, Leanne 2019. Seagrass meadows support global fisheries production. Conservation Letters 12 (1) , e12566. 10.1111/conl.12566

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Abstract

The significant role seagrass meadows play in supporting fisheries productivity and food security across the globe is not adequately reflected in the decisions made by authorities with statutory responsibility for their management. We provide a unique global analysis of three data sources to present the case for why seagrass meadows need targeted policy to recognize and protect their role in supporting fisheries production and food security. (1) Seagrass meadows provide valuable nursery habitat to over 1/5th of the world's largest 25 fisheries, including Walleye Pollock, the most landed species on the planet. (2) In complex small‐scale fisheries from around the world (poorly represented in fisheries statistics), we present evidence that many of those in proximity to seagrass are supported to a large degree by these habitats. (3) We reveal how intertidal fishing activity in seagrass is a global phenomenon, often directly supporting human livelihoods. Our study demonstrates that seagrasses should be recognized and managed to maintain and maximize their role in global fisheries production. The chasm that exists between coastal habitat conservation and fisheries management needs to be filled to maximize the chances of seagrass meadows supporting fisheries, so that they can continue to support human wellbeing.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1755-263X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 May 2018
Date of Acceptance: 27 April 2018
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2019 13:39
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/111255

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