Marine resources

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Marine resources are resources (physical and biological entities) that are found in oceans and are useful for humans. The term was popularized through Sustainable Development Goal 14 which is about "Life below water" and is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015. The official wording of the goal is to "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development". [1]


Marine resources include:

Global goals

The text of Target 14.7 of Sustainable Development Goal 14 states: "By 2030, increase the economic benefits to small island developing states and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism". [1]

Fisheries and aquaculture can contribute to alleviating poverty, hunger, malnutrition and economic growth. The contribution of sustainable fisheries to the global GDP was around 0.1% per year. [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

Aquaculture Farming of aquatic organisms

Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the controlled cultivation ("farming") of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, mollusks, algae and other organisms of value such as aquatic plants. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater, brackish water and saltwater populations under controlled or semi-natural conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish. Mariculture, commonly known as marine farming, refers specifically to aquaculture practiced in seawater habitats and lagoons, opposed to in freshwater aquaculture. Pisciculture is a type of aquaculture that consists of fish farming to obtain fish products as food.

Coast Area where land meets the sea or ocean

The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the ocean, or as a line that forms the boundary between the land and the ocean or a lake. The Earth has around 620,000 kilometres (390,000 mi) of coastline. Coasts are important zones in natural ecosystems, often home to a wide range of biodiversity. On land, they harbor important ecosystems such as freshwater or estuarine wetlands, which are important for bird populations and other terrestrial animals. In wave-protected areas they harbor saltmarshes, mangroves or seagrasses, all of which can provide nursery habitat for finfish, shellfish, and other aquatic species. Rocky shores are usually found along exposed coasts and provide habitat for a wide range of sessile animals and various kinds of seaweeds. Along tropical coasts with clear, nutrient-poor water, coral reefs can often be found between depths of 1–50 m.

Fishery Raising or harvesting fish

Fishery can mean either the enterprise of raising or harvesting fish and other aquatic life; or more commonly, the site where such enterprise takes place. Commercial fisheries include wild fisheries and fish farms, both in freshwater bodies and the oceans. About 500 million people worldwide are economically dependent on fisheries. 171 million tonnes of fish were produced in 2016, but overfishing is an increasing problem — causing declines in some populations.

Overfishing Removal of a species of fish from water at a rate that the species cannot replenish

Overfishing is the removal of a species of fish from a body of water at a rate greater than that the species can replenish its population naturally, resulting in the species becoming increasingly underpopulated in that area. Overfishing can occur in water bodies of any sizes, such as ponds, wetlands, rivers, lakes or oceans, and can result in resource depletion, reduced biological growth rates and low biomass levels. Sustained overfishing can lead to critical depensation, where the fish population is no longer able to sustain itself. Some forms of overfishing, such as the overfishing of sharks, has led to the upset of entire marine ecosystems. Types of overfishing include: growth overfishing, recruitment overfishing, ecosystem overfishing.

Sustainable fishery Sustainable fishing for the long term fishing

A conventional idea of a sustainable fishery is that it is one that is harvested at a sustainable rate, where the fish population does not decline over time because of fishing practices. Sustainability in fisheries combines theoretical disciplines, such as the population dynamics of fisheries, with practical strategies, such as avoiding overfishing through techniques such as individual fishing quotas, curtailing destructive and illegal fishing practices by lobbying for appropriate law and policy, setting up protected areas, restoring collapsed fisheries, incorporating all externalities involved in harvesting marine ecosystems into fishery economics, educating stakeholders and the wider public, and developing independent certification programs.

Fishing industry Economic sector

The fishing industry includes any industry or activity concerned with taking, culturing, processing, preserving, storing, transporting, marketing or selling fish or fish products. It is defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization as including recreational, subsistence and commercial fishing, and the related harvesting, processing, and marketing sectors. The commercial activity is aimed at the delivery of fish and other seafood products for human consumption or as input factors in other industrial processes. The livelihood of over 500 million people in developing countries depends directly or indirectly on fisheries and aquaculture.

The goal of fisheries management is to produce sustainable biological, environmental and socioeconomic benefits from renewable aquatic resources. Wild fisheries are classified as renewable because the organisms of interest usually produce an annual biological surplus that with judicious management can be harvested without reducing future productivity. Fishery management employs activities that protect fishery resources so sustainable exploitation is possible, drawing on fisheries science and possibly including the precautionary principle.

Marine conservation Protection and preservation of saltwater ecosystems

Marine conservation, also known as ocean conservation, is the protection and preservation of ecosystems in oceans and seas through planned management in order to prevent the over-exploitation of these marine resources. Marine conservation is informed by the study of marine plants and animal resources and ecosystem functions and is driven by response to the manifested negative effects seen in the environment such as species loss, habitat degradation and changes in ecosystem functions and focuses on limiting human-caused damage to marine ecosystems, restoring damaged marine ecosystems, and preserving vulnerable species and ecosystems of the marine life. Marine conservation is a relatively new discipline which has developed as a response to biological issues such as extinction and marine habitats change.

Small Island Developing States Developing countries that are small island countries

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are a group of developing countries that are small island countries which tend to share similar sustainable development challenges. These include small but growing populations, limited resources, remoteness, susceptibility to natural disasters, vulnerability to external shocks, excessive dependence on international trade, and fragile environments. Their growth and development is also held back by high communication, energy and transportation costs, irregular international transport volumes, disproportionately expensive public administration and infrastructure due to their small size, and little to no opportunity to create economies of scale. They consist of some of the most vulnerable countries to climate change.

Marine ecosystem Ecosystem in saltwater environment

Marine ecosystems are the largest of Earth's aquatic ecosystems and exist in waters that have a high salt content. These systems contrast with freshwater ecosystems, which have a lower salt content. Marine waters cover more than 70% of the surface of the Earth and account for more than 97% of Earth's water supply and 90% of habitable space on Earth. Seawater has an average salinity of 35 parts per thousand of water. Actual salinity varies among different marine ecosystems. Marine ecosystems can be divided into many zones depending upon water depth and shoreline features. The oceanic zone is the vast open part of the ocean where animals such as whales, sharks, and tuna live. The benthic zone consists of substrates below water where many invertebrates live. The intertidal zone is the area between high and low tides. Other near-shore (neritic) zones can include mudflats, seagrass meadows, mangroves, rocky intertidal systems, salt marshes, coral reefs, lagoons. In the deep water, hydrothermal vents may occur where chemosynthetic sulfur bacteria form the base of the food web.

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing International issue

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) is an issue around the world. Fishing industry observers believe IUU occurs in most fisheries, and accounts for up to 30% of total catches in some important fisheries.

The Marine Institute is a State agency in Ireland that provides government, public agencies and the maritime industry with a range of scientific, advisory and economic development services, aiming to inform policy-making, regulation and the sustainable management and growth of the country’s marine resources. Founded in 1991 on foot of a 1974 report, the Institute undertakes, coordinates and promotes marine research and development, which is essential to achieving a sustainable ocean economy, protecting ecosystems and inspiring a shared understanding of the ocean. The agency is governed by a ministerially-appointed board and has a professional staff, a headquarters near Galway, an office in Dublin, and two research vessels.

The World Ocean Conference 2009 (WOC) is an international conference to develop a common understanding and firm commitment to address the adverse impact of climate change on the state of the world's oceans, and increase understanding on the role of the oceans as ‘climate moderator’. This conference includes diplomats and heads of state from a number of countries. It took place in May 2009 in Manado, Indonesia. Its topic is the threat to various nations from rising oceans due to global warming.

Climate change and fisheries

Climate change and fisheries affect one another, the relationship between these affects are backed by strong global evidence. Although these effects vary in the context of each fishery and the many pathways that climate change affects them individually. Rising ocean temperatures and ocean acidification are radically altering marine aquatic ecosystems, while freshwater ecosystems are being impacted by changes in water temperature, water flow, and fish habitat loss. Climate change is modifying fish distribution and the productivity of marine and freshwater species.

Offshore aquaculture

Offshore aquaculture, also known as open water aquaculture or open ocean aquaculture, is an emerging approach to mariculture where fish farms are positioned in deeper and less sheltered waters some distance away from the coast, where the cultivated fish stocks are exposed to more naturalistic living conditions with stronger ocean currents and more diverse nutrient flow. Existing "offshore" developments fall mainly into the category of exposed areas rather than fully offshore. As maritime classification society DNV GL has stated, development and knowledge-building are needed in several fields for the available deeper water opportunities to be realized.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to fisheries:

Sustainable Development Goals 17 United Nations global goals for 2030

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a "shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future". The SDGs were set up in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly (UN-GA) and are intended to be achieved by 2030. They are included in a UN-GA Resolution called the 2030 Agenda or what is colloquially known as Agenda 2030. The SDGs were developed in the Post-2015 Development Agenda as the future global development framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals which were ended in 2015.

Blue economy

Blue economy is a term in economics relating to the exploitation, preservation and regeneration of the marine environment. Its scope of interpretation varies among organizations. However, the term is generally used in the scope of International development when describing a sustainable development approach to coastal resources. This can include a wide range of economic sectors, from the more conventional fisheries, aquaculture, maritime transport, Coastal, marine and maritime tourism, or other traditional uses, to more emergent spaces such as coastal renewable energy, marine ecosystem services, seabed mining, and bioprospecting.

Sustainable Development Goal 15 15th of 17 Sustainable Development Goals to protect life on land

Sustainable Development Goal 15 is about "Life on land." One of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015, the official wording is: "Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss". The Goal has 12 targets to be achieved by 2030. Progress towards targets will be measured by 14 indicators.

Sustainable Development Goal 14 14th of 17 Sustainable Development Goals to conserve life below water

Sustainable Development Goal 14 is about "Life below water" and is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015. The official wording is to "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development". The Goal has ten targets to be achieved by 2030. Progress towards each target is being measured with one indicator each.


  1. 1 2 United Nations (2017) Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017, Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (A/RES/71/313)
  2. "The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020" (PDF). Report.