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Marine ecosystem services: what are they and why do we study them?

Donata Canu, OGS

In our latest episode of the podcast, we have a conversation on marine ecosystem services with Donata Canu, from OGS, the National Institute of Oceanography and Geophysics in Italy. In previous episodes we have mentioned “Ecosystem services” many times, and today we discuss what these are, how we study them and why it is important to have a better understanding of them to support a sustainable management of the ocean’s resources.

Donata explains that marine ecosystem services are services provided by the ocean for human benefit, and there are three main types:

  • provision services: with the products we get from the sea, such as food and chemical compounds that can be used in the pharmaceutical industry

  • regulation services: with contribution to geochemical cycles, such as carbon sequestration and the role marine ecosystems in climate regulation, as well as the provision of habitat for marine species

  • cultural benefits: which are linked to those experiences we have when we are by the sea- wellness, relaxation and enjoyment- as well as all the traditions that humans have in relation to the ocean.

To learn more about how this is studied in AtlantECO and which specific services we focus on to help develop models and support policy makers when they have to design policies and regulations, listen to the full episode, available on all podcast listening platforms!

And don’t forget to share so that we can spread the knowledge and stories of the ocean as far as possible!

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