Protecting, Monitoring and Restoring Marine Biodiversity
Our oceans are home to a dazzling variety of organisms of all imaginable sizes, shapes, colours, and behaviours. This beautiful variety is referred to as ‘marine biodiversity’—the number and abundance of living species in the oceans including bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals. The Northeast Pacific is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world. Cold, extremely productive waters support open ocean environments, benthic habitats, rocky reefs, kelp forests, and tide pools that are collectively home to tens of thousands of marine life species, from glass sponges to giant kelp to the blue whale. More species likely remain to be discovered. This diversity of flora and fauna is increasingly at risk due to human activities, such as over-fishing, and climate change. Collecting marine and coastal biodiversity information and synthesizing information across local to regional scales will help ensure that effective management and policy responses, such as protection and restoration, are developed.