The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has released a report, titled ‘Priority Actions to Achieve Aichi Biodiversity Target 10 for Coral Reefs and Closely Associated Ecosystems.' By 2015, Aichi Target 10 aims to minimize anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs and other vulnerable ecosystems impacted by climate change or ocean acidification, to maintain their integrity and function.

Coral reefs and associated ecosystems, such as mangroves and seagrasses, support marine biodiversity around the world and contribute socio-economic benefits, such as serving as nursery habitats for fish species, stabilizing coastal and nearshore areas from erosion and storm surges, and supporting livelihoods, according to the report.

Coral reef scientists have concluded that the greenhouse gas emission reduction pledges submitted to date by the international community for consideration at the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention (COP21), to be held at the end of next month in Paris, fall well short of what is required to avoid this biodiversity catastrophe.

A consortium of ocean scientists, reef mappers and community-based monitoring teams, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), XL Catlin Seaview Survey, The University of Queensland, and Reef Check, today confirmed a “global coral bleaching event” is underway. Increased ocean temperatures due to climate change, combined with the warming effects of an El Niño pattern and a Pacific warm water mass referred to as “The Blob”, are driving temperatures to record levels and threatening to severely deplete the coral reef ecosystems that support fish habitats, shoreline protection and coastal economies.

During her visit to Saba and Bonaire, Dutch State Secretary of Economic Affairs, Mrs. Sharon Dijksma, opened the “Yarari” marine mammal and shark sanctuary. The populations of sharks worldwide are in sharp decline and therefore need extra protection against illegal fishing and bycatch in regulated fisheries. The local nature conservation and fisheries organizations will be involved in the protection. With this eleventh shark sanctuary in the world the Netherlands will actively protect sharks in the Caribbean Sea. The name of the Sanctuary “Yarari” is an Taíno Indian word, meaning ‘a fine place’

More sharks, more fish

Populations of fish critical to human food security are in serious decline worldwide with some at risk of collapse according to the emergency edition of a WWF report released today. WWF’s Living Blue Planet Report finds that much of the activity threatening the ocean is avoidable and solutions do exist to turn the tide.

NEW YORK (September 1, 2015)— A new study by WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) has found that coral reef diversity ‘hotspots’ in the southwestern Indian Ocean rely more on the biomass of fish than where they are located, a conclusion that has major implications for management decisions to protect coral reef ecosystems.

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