South Africa joins global study to assess Atlantic ecosystem
Web Editor:國際日報 International Daily News
South Africa has recently joined a host of other nations for a long-term study to assess the ecosystem of the Atlantic Ocean in a bid to balance environmental protection with sustainable development.
The "Mission Atlantic" study by the International Horizon 2020 will see ocean experts from South Africa, Europe, Brazil and Canada analyzing current and future risks to the Atlantic ecosystem, such as climate change and overfishing.
The Atlantic spans more than 106 million square kilometers and is the second largest of the world's oceans. It is also an important ecosystem for various industries including global trade and fishing.
Marine experts from the University of Cape Town joined the global project to determine the impact of climate change, natural hazards and human activity are having on the ocean's ecosystem.
"What are the effects on our ecosystems? How are they interlinked with other pressures that are being exerted on our systems? For example, climate change, mining, nutrification, pollution, all of those things put pressure on our systems. So, we are identifying things that are putting our ecosystem at risk and then solutions for those," said Dr. Lynne Shannon, a senior researcher with the Department of Biological Sciences of the University of Cape Town.
South Africa will look into issues such as sustainable fisheries management as well as the role climate change has on endangered African penguin colonies.
With an integrated ecosystem assessment, ocean experts will paint a very detailed picture of the current risks facing the ocean and the proposed solutions will inform key decisions and policy makers.
"This whole integrated ecosystem assessment is going to be very beneficial because it's going to get stakeholders on board, from across these different users, from governance to policy makers to the actual scientists on the ground, and trying to get everybody on board," said Shannon.
The Mission Atlantic team will assess not just fishery's resources but all the marine resources, from plankton to predators. The exhaustive study is set to conclude in the middle of 2025, with a view to ensuring a positive future for the Atlantic Ocean and its peoples.