INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK Evidence of human damage to natural resources and the environment is long-standing even in the sea, but some 50 years ago awareness of human degradation of natural environments around the globe grew substantially. This concern was expressed above all in the creation of protected areas, organizations and agencies focused on nature conservation. The extent to which wilderness areas everywhere were contaminated or otherwise influenced by human agency was beginning to be generally recognized, and some people predicted these impacts would only grow in future. But few predicted the extent and number of global environmental changes that are now occurring. The limits to growth of the world's economies, individually or collectively, were little questioned in ecological contexts. Uncertainties surrounding how economics and ecology might relate to each other were little explored, and questions such as ‘At what points will economies become constrained by the decline and loss of natural ecological goods and services?’ persist to this day. Water is increasingly seen as a constraint on sustainable human development and focus of potential human conflict. Nevertheless, it has been rare for the provision of this good, and related ecological services such as fish production and waste disposal, to be viewed holistically in the context of the natural environment. Also, there have been no comprehensive reviews of status and trends encompassing all aquatic environments (Clark et al. 2006), from the fresh and terrestrial saline to those of the deepest seas.
|Title of host publication||Aquatic Ecosystems: Trends and Global Prospects|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2008|