The state of seven seas

Christopher L. J. Frid and Bryony A. Caswell

in Marine Pollution

Published in print August 2017 | ISBN: 9780198726289
Published online November 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780191843815 | DOI:
The state of seven seas

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  • Aquatic Biology
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Biology


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Seven regions are described in terms of their pollution history, other synergistic human pressures, the current challenges and management approaches. Although the timing and detailed impacts vary, primarily for historical reasons, between regions all show similar patterns of change. Sea regions exposed to centuries of human activity (North Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Chesapeake Bay) are considered, as are those for which pollution is more recent (Canadian LOMAs and Coral Sea), and those expected to experience intense pressure in the near future (Arctic Ocean). Nutrients from agriculture and sewage from growing human populations are ubiquitous and not easily managed in marine systems. Controls on industrial discharges have succeeded in halting, sometimes reversing, degradation in some regions (Black Sea, Mediterranean, North Sea, Chesapeake Bay). However, shipping, coastal development and offshore infrastructure continue to apply pressure. While most regions are subject to international agreements and management regimes the effectiveness varies.

Keywords: Eutrophication; regime shift; over-fishing; Large Ocean Management Areas; environmental remediation; oil exploration; Great Barrier Reef; historic pollution; trophic cascade; hypoxia

Chapter.  21685 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aquatic Biology ; Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

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