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Science and the Marine Environment

Science is important, interesting, valuable and we help you find it.

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Welcome to our science section. For those of you who have studied marine science, you will know how vast the knowledge base is and equally how vast the gaps of our knowledge are. If you are new to marine science, we hope we help you to discover another world that will fascinate you for a lifetime.

The ocean is so big... There is more published literature now than can be consumed in a person's lifetime and yet whole areas of the ocean's biodiversity and ecology remain unstudied. We are still discovering species at a rate so fast that there is a chronic shortage of specialists to do the necessary taxonomic work to declare these 'finds' a new species. The ocean remains a wilderness in many ways - it holds the largest diversity of living things and ecological connections on this planet. Ultimately it will make or break our future.

We suggest the burning question for marine science is not how efficiently we can extract resources, not documenting the loss of biodiversity, not endlessly studying the detail for the sake of it, although these things are challenging and interesting. Instead we believe there is a desperately needed purpose to our efforts. That purpose is to understand and manage the impacts of man's activities on the oceans, and to illuminate a path ahead that protects and restores biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

It appears time is not on our side in this, the biggest of all challenges. We suggest that economic and social/cultural concerns would also be well served by this science ethic. Of course all this is a matter of great debate, whic is what we aim to start here.

A key purpose of our website is to show you science that is valuable and topical to things that you are working on and interested in. We will have a growing document archive which you can easily search. We will also send you all over the Internet to access key documents. Some of these sites we will link you to will have very large collections of papers, so very quickly you will have access to a lot of information.

Our focus will be on learning more about marine biodiversity, this will focus on key species, habitat and ecosystem studies. We will collect some key studies on fisheries management, how it works, the problems and challenges of fishing a natural system at the scale that we currently fish. We will have an extensive collection of work that looks at what we are learning from Marine Reserves and MPA networks both here and around the world. We will show you where and how to access regional coastal information systems that are currently being assembled to support coming MPA work here in NZ. Enjoy the journey...

The image above shows one of the many unseen worlds living at the base of a kelp forest, literally hundreds of species call this home... Poor Knights Islands

 

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