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A global horizon scan of issues impacting marine and coastal biodiversity conservation.

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The biodiversity of marine and coastal habitats is experiencing unprecedented change. While there are well-known drivers of these changes, such as overexploitation, climate change and pollution, there are also relatively unknown emerging issues that are poorly understood or recognized that have potentially positive or negative impacts on marine and coastal ecosystems. In this inaugural Marine and Coastal Horizon Scan, we brought together 30 scientists, policymakers and practitioners with transdisciplinary expertise in marine and coastal systems to identify new issues that are likely to have a significant impact on the functioning and conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity over the next 5-10 years. Based on a modified Delphi voting process, the final 15 issues presented were distilled from a list of 75 submitted by participants at the start of the process. These issues are grouped into three categories: ecosystem impacts, for example the impact of wildfires and the effect of poleward migration on equatorial biodiversity; resource exploitation, including an increase in the trade of fish swim bladders and increased exploitation of marine collagens; and new technologies, such as soft robotics and new biodegradable products. Our early identification of these issues and their potential impacts on marine and coastal biodiversity will support scientists, conservationists, resource managers and policymakers to address the challenges facing marine ecosystems.



Animals, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Ecosystem, Humans

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Nat Ecol Evol

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
National Philanthropic Trust (Unknown)
This Marine and Coastal Horizon Scan was funded by Oceankind. SNRB is supported by EcoStar (DM048) and Cefas (My time). RC acknowledges FCT/MCTES for the financial support to CESAM (UIDP/50017/2020, UIDB/50017/2020, LA/P/0094/2020) through national funds. OD is supported by CSIC Uruguay and Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research. JH-R is supported by the Whitten Lectureship in Marine Biology. SAK is supported by a Natural Environment Research Council grant (NE/S00050X/1). PIM is supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (DP200100575). DMP is supported by the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS). ARP is supported by the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research. WJS is funded by Arcadia. AT is supported by Oceankind. MY is supported by the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative and bioDISCOVERY.