Threats to the Marine Environment

Figure 8: Primary threats to the Worlds oceans include the ‘Big Five’ stressors.

Each of the big five stressors (not in order of magnitude), 1) Climate change; 2) Pollution (mainly coastal), 3) Fragmentation and habitat loss (from e.g. dredging/trawling, use of explosives in fishing on coral reefs etc.), 4) Invasive species infestations, and 5) Over-harvest from fisheries may individually or combined result in severe impacts on the biological production of the worlds oceans and the services they provide to billions of people today. If climate change accelerates, the impacts on marine life from the other stressors will become severely exacerbated and the ability of ecosystems to recover will be impaired.

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