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Whitaker Ideas Forum: Naomi Foley, Ecosystem Services and the Deep Sea

February 28 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Speaker(s): Naomi Foley

Affiliation: SEMRU

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‘Ecosystem services’ are the ecological characteristics, functions and processes that directly or indirectly contribute to human wellbeing: the benefits that people derive from functioning ecosystems. There is increasing interest in identifying and estimating marine ecosystem services and values, being best researched and developed for coastal ecosystems. Although less studied than terrestrial, fresh water and coastal environments, there is growing recognition of the importance of the services provided by the deep sea. It still remains that deep sea habitats receive less attention than environments closer to home due to their remoteness and difficulty to access. Despite this services from the deep are in increasing demand and pressure for its products such as fisheries, hydrocarbon extraction and mining. The identification of services, their values and conflict areas are important for policy making, in particular marine spatial planning and blue growth. This work presents the economic analysis being undertaken in the EU ATLAS project. The ATLAS project aims to advance our understanding of the North Atlantic’s deep-sea ecosystems, including their connectivity, functioning and responses to future predicted changes in human use and ocean climate.