ways that might save and restore the sea. The ultimate benefit to science and society of this research program would be an enhanced ability for long-term sustained use of the oceans and marine organisms for food, mineral resources, biomedical products, recreation, and other aesthetic and economic gains, while conserving and preserving the diversity and function of life in the sea.
In summary, this marine biodiversity initiative would be:
- An environmentally responsible and socially relevant basic research program on the causes and consequences of changes in marine biological diversity due to effects of human activities.
- A research agenda guided by well-defined research questions that will be addressed concurrently in several different regional-scale systems.
- A program that focuses on large-scales that were previously intractable but are absolutely required to address the most compelling biodiversity research questions.
- A partnership between the ecological and oceanographic sciences, both conceptually and methodologically, for explaining biodiversity patterns, processes, and consequences.
- A partnership between ecology and taxonomy, with a major focus on reinvigorating the field of marine taxonomy and systematics.
- A research program with the ultimate goal of improving predictions regarding future effects of human activities on marine biodiversity, thus facilitating the use of the sea for societal needs while minimizing impacts on nature.