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Recognising the necessity for Indo-Pacific seagrass conservation

Unsworth, Richard K. F. and Cullen-Unsworth, Leanne Claire 2010. Recognising the necessity for Indo-Pacific seagrass conservation. Conservation Letters 3 (2) , pp. 63-73. 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2010.00101.x

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Abstract

Seagrass meadows are declining globally at an unprecedented rate, yet these valuable ecosystem service providers remain marginalized within many conservation agendas. In the Indo-Pacific, this is principally because marine conservation priorities do not recognize the economic and ecological value of the goods and services that seagrasses provide. Dependency on coastal marine resources in the Indo-Pacific for daily protein needs is high relative to other regions and has been found in some places to be up to 100%. Habitat loss therefore may have negative consequences for food security in the region. Whether seagrass resources comprise an important contribution to this dependency remains largely untested. Here, we assemble information sources from throughout the Indo-Pacific region that discuss shallow water fisheries, and examine the role of seagrass meadows in supporting production, both directly, and indirectly through process of habitat connectivity (e.g., nursery function and foraging areas). We find information to support the premise that seagrass meadows are important for fisheries production. They are important fishery areas, and they support the productivity and biodiversity of coral reefs. We argue the value of a different paradigm to the current consensus on marine conservation priorities within the Indo-Pacific that places seagrass conservation as a priority.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1755-263X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:12
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/49568

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