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Vital Water Graphics 2

Planet index 2007 for marine species population

Table of contents
Toward a world of thirst?ForewordExecutive summary Water and population

1. State of the world’s water

2. Freshwater resources3. Coastal and marine water4. Water and climate change

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The Marine Species Population Index provides an assessment of the average changeover time in the populations of 217 species of marine mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. The index represents the average value of six regional ocean indices. More pronounced declines are seen in the southern oceans, attributed to the fact that major losses and degradation of marine ecosystems in the industrialized world took place prior to 1970.

Marine species are generally more difficult to monitor than terrestrial ones. Assessments are therefore based primarily on fishery catches, and the monitoring of land breeding species (e.g. turtles, birds and seals). However, these species are over-represented in the index, which should have a far greater proportion of invertebrate species.