Seagrass production around artificial reefs is resistant to human stressors

Artificial reefs might help to restore the ocean’s ability to fight against climate change. The reefs boost the productivity of seagrass meadows by attracting fish, which can improve the ability of these habitats to lock up more carbon dioxide beneath the waves. Breeze blocks placed in one of the ocean’s most endangered habitats provide an unexpected lift for fish. Seagrass meadows are found across the world, reaching from the tropics up into the lower reaches of the Arctic circle. They are incredibly valuable habitats, providing a nursery for young fish as well as sucking vast quantities of carbon dioxide from…
Benjamin Jones
July 27, 2023

Caribbean seagrasses provide services worth $255B annually, including vast carbon storage

Discussions of valuable but threatened ocean ecosystems often focus on coral reefs or coastal mangrove forests. Seagrass meadows get a lot less attention, even though they provide wide-ranging services to society and store lots of climate-warming carbon. But the findings of a new University of Michigan-led study show that seagrass ecosystems deserve to be at the forefront of the global conservation agenda, according to the authors. It's the first study to put a dollar value on the many services—from storm protection to fish habitat to carbon storage—provided by seagrasses across the Caribbean, and the numbers are impressive. Using newly available…
Benjamin Jones
June 21, 2023

Global fisheries threatened by loss of seagrass

Seafood consumption is both a love and a necessity for hundreds of millions of people all across the world. And the supply of seafood is a key part of maintaining food security for the whole planet. But as demand for seafood is increasing, stocks of wild fish and invertebrates (such as mussels and prawns) are declining. A major problem is that policies and plans designed to ensure the sustainability of our fisheries almost exclusively target fishing activity. But we also need to protect the critical habitats that these fisheries also depend on. Most species that are fished require more than…
May 20, 2018
Press ReleaseResearch

Seagrass meadows key fishing ground globally

Fishing in seagrass occurs around the globe; if there is seagrass (and people) there is fishing. Still, the nature and extent of fisheries in seagrass is poorly understood. It is a prerequisite for natural resource management to understand resource exploitation, therefore we decided to investigate this further. Seagrasses are plants that grow in the shallow ocean. The seagrass attracts many different types of animals, to live, forage, or seek shelter. These animals are collected by humans for subsistence (food), commercial and recreational purposes. Across the globe the reasons for fishing differs, it is more common to fish for recreational purposes in…
November 16, 2017

How hurricanes such as Irma and Maria can devastate the Caribbean marine environment

 Hurricane Irma – one of the strongest on record to hit the Caribbean – recently scoured the islands leaving catastrophic damage in its wake. And just as we began to piece together the devastating and potentially long–term impacts of Irma, Hurricane Maria has now left another path of destruction. Puerto Rico, the British dependency of the Turks and Caicos, and many other Caribbean islands have suffered what have been described as “apocalyptic conditions”. When the world talks of the tragic and devastating consequences of severe hurricanes, the focus tends to be on the land, and the people who live in affected communities.…
Benjamin Jones
September 25, 2017