Latest content: Commonwealth Blue Charter

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This Action Group promotes the development of environmentally-compatible, financially-viable and socially-acceptable aquaculture. Aquaculture is ocean farming, including breeding, rearing and harvesting of fish, shellfish, plants, algae and other organisms in all types of water environments.
Ocean observations are essential to increase our collective understanding of the increasing pressures facing our oceans and improve our ability to predict and adapt to them, especially those caused by human activity.
The connection between ocean change and climate change is obvious for people who depend on the ocean for their livelihood. The change in the ocean is reflected in shifts in weather patterns, extreme ocean and weather events, rising ocean temperatures, and reduced fisheries and livelihoods. Islanders and coastal residents live on the frontline of ocean change and climate change.
Coastal fisheries provide a rich source of income and food for the vast majority countries of the Commonwealth. It plays a vital role in many Commonwealth countries, in supporting tourism, food security, recreation, livelihoods and in providing diverse trading opportunities to strengthen national economies. However, due to a variety of reasons, most fisheries has been over-exploited in a level where most fisheries is slowly or difficult to recover.
When CO2 is absorbed by the ocean, it changes the chemical makeup of seawater in a process called ‘acidification’. Historically, on a pH scale of 1 to 14, the ocean has been around 8.2, which is actually slightly alkaline. (Solutions with a pH less than 7 are acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic, or alkaline.) But since the beginning of the industrial revolution, ocean pH has declined by 0.1 units – equivalent to a 30 per cent rise in acidity and the fastest shift in the ocean’s pH baseline for around 200 to 300 million years.

One of the most effective ways of protecting marine and coastal biodiversity is through the establishment and proper management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, is “any area of intertidal or sub-tidal terrain, together with its overlying water and associated flora, fauna, historical and cultural features, which has been reserved by law or other effective means to protect part or all of the enclosed environment."
Coral reefs provide a home to about 25 per cent of all marine species and are the most diverse of all the planet’s ecosystems, rivalling the diversity found in the Amazon rainforest. Estimates suggest that up to two million different types of animals thrive within or around coral reefs. Millions of people depend on that biodiversity for their livelihoods and food security.