Open ocean biodiversity
Increasing pressure due to anthropogenic drivers is leading to a reduction of global biodiversity and its associated benefits at the planetary scale. In open ocean (seafloor depth greater than 200m) the most important direct drivers of biodiversity loss are fishing and extraction of seafood, with a lesser but rapidly increasing importance of climate change, pollution and invasive species.
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These drivers have accelerated in the last 50 years and they are predicted to continue, despite international efforts in the last decades. To guide further action, it is, therefore, urgent and important to develop “fit-for-purpose” observation tools. These observations should be capable of assessing and monitoring how the community structure and function of coastal ecosystems respond to the anthropogenic and natural drivers in a changing climate.