Marine species diversity

Limited information is available on species diversity and the condition of coastal and marine ecosystems (Burke et al., 2001). There is growing evidence that many marine species are less widely distributed, and therefore more vulnerable to extinction, than previously thought (GESAMP, 2001a). The protection and sustainable use of marine resources and biodiversity are governed by several international conventions, including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In this framework, sustainable use is defined as "the use of components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations" (CBD, 2001).