Threats to Marine Biodiversity

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Biodiversity loss has become one of the greatest environmental concerns of the last century, owing to increasing pressure on the environment by humans combined with the realisation that our activities can seriously threaten the future sustainability of marine species and ecosystems. Marine biodiversity in Europe is threatened by the fact that many of the goods and services provided by marine ecosystems are exploited in a non-sustainable way. In some cases, marine ecosystems are threatened to the extent that their structure and function is being jeopardised.

The most serious threats to marine biodiversity are:

Fig. 1. Human activities seriously threaten the future sustainability of marine species and ecosystems. Photo © Hyeonbyeong Chae

Threats to marine biodiversity have widespread social, economic, and biological consequences, the combination of which could threaten our own existence, including:

  • Economic losses through reduced productivity
  • Dramatic reductions in the numbers of many popular edible fish and shellfish
  • Extinction of species that might be useful in developing new medicines
  • Reduced ability of ecosystems to respond to disaster, both natural (floods) and man-made (pollution)

Related articles

Effects of fisheries on marine biodiversity
MarBEF examples of fishery effects
Threats to the coastal zone#Threats to Biodiversity
Species extinction
Other articles in the Category:Marine Biodiversity

Further reading

Millennium ecosystem assessment (2005)

The main author of this article is Atalah, Javier
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.

Citation: Atalah, Javier (2020): Threats to Marine Biodiversity. Available from [accessed on 20-07-2024]