[Press release] Study in Nature: Protecting the Ocean Delivers a Comprehensive Solution for Climate, Fishing and Biodiversity
A new study published in the prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature today offers a combined solution to several of humanity’s most pressing challenges. It is the most comprehensive assessment to date of where strict ocean protection can contribute to a more abundant supply of healthy seafood and provide a cheap, natural solution to address climate change—in addition to protecting embattled species and habitats.
An international team of 26 authors – including researchers from Ifremer and the University of Montpellier and with the CNRS – identified specific areas that, if protected, would safeguard over 80% of the habitats for endangered marine species, and increase fishing catches by more than eight million metric tons. The study is also the first to quantify the potential release of carbon dioxide into the ocean from trawling, a widespread fishing practice—and finds that trawling is pumping hundreds of millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the ocean every year, a volume of emissions similar to those of aviation. This work was partly funded by the Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB), EDF and the Total Foundation, through the FREE and PELAGIC research projects of the FRB’s Center for Biodiversity Synthesis and Analysis (CESAB).