On Monday, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and the International Program on the State of the Oceans (IPSO), released a report warning that the world’s oceans are at high risk for a globally significant marine extinction. The resulting preliminary report from the first ever international, interdisciplinary workshop addresses the cumulative impact of various stressors affecting the world’s oceans. This stressors included pollution, acidification, ocean warming, over fishing and hypoxia (deoxygenation).
Professor Dan Laffoley, Senior Advisor at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and contributor to the workshop, emphasises the vital role of the ocean for humans and the deadly combination of stressors at play in the short video below:
Here is a summary of the findings:
- The combination of stressors on the ocean is creating the conditions associated with every previous major extinction of species in Earth’s history
- The speed and rate of degeneration in the ocean is far faster than anyone has predicted
- Many of the negative impacts previously identified are greater than the worst predictions.
- Although difficult to assess because of the unprecedented speed of change, the first steps to globally significant extinction may have begun with a rise in the extinction threat to marine species such as reef forming corals.