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EU-MERCES webinar - Building a Business Case for Marine Ecosystem Restoration

This webinar series, focused on marine ecosystem restoration, provides fresh perspectives on how we can benefit from better planning for a healthy marine environment.

GRID-Arendal and the Marine Ecosystem Service Partnership (MESP) are hosting a 5-part webinar series from MERCES (Marine Ecosystem Restoration in Changing European Seas). MERCES is a Horizon 2020 project for Blue Growth funded by the European Commission, focused on the restoration of degraded marine habitats from the coast to the deep sea. This webinar series will be of interest to a wide variety of stakeholders from academia to businesses, economists and decision makers.

The fourth webinar, "Building a Business Case for Marine Ecosystem Restoration," will take place on Monday 18 November 2019 from 15:00-16:00 CET (Brussels time) and will focus on two important topics:

1. The importance of restoring seagrass meadows for global fisheries production

Dr Richard Unsworth, Seagrass Ecosystems Research Group, University of Swansea, Wales

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. This leads to planning decisions that ultimately result in widespread seagrass loss. In my talk I provide an overview of why seagrass is an important habitat for fish. I then present evidence of how this role supports fisheries production at small local scales as well as larger global scales. I use examples that illustrate how seagrasses are fundamental habitat for nearshore small-scale subsistence fisheries in SE Asia as well as being vital for supporting major fish stocks such as Atlantic Cod.

2. Seagrass loss and restoration - implications for the value of carbon and nitrogen stocks

Prof Per-Olav Moksnes, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Over 60% of the eelgrass along the Swedish NW coast has vanished since the 1980s, which has resulted in a loss of important ecosystem services, including sequestration and long-term storage of carbon and nutrients in the sediment. Little is known about how the extensive losses has affected the carbon stocks, and if eelgrass restoration can be used to facilitate recovery of meadows and their ecosystem services. New studies show that eelgrass losses in this system result in extensive release of both carbon and nitrogen with a high cost to society (estimated to 100,000 Euro per hectare of eelgrass). Methods for eelgrass restoration in Swedish waters have recently been developed, but large scale recovery is challenged by local regime shifts resulting from the loss of eelgrass.

Year: 2019

Produced by: GRID-Arendal

Tags: coastal ecosystems ecosystem fisheries marine environment seagrass webinar

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