Oceans can recover by 2050. This conclusion was made by scientists from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, a study of which was published in the journal Nature.
Despite the fact that over the past decades a huge amount of various debris has got into the World Ocean, and mankind has destroyed several species of marine animals and fish, the ocean can recover quite quickly. For example, the number of humpback whales recovered very quickly after the ban on commercial whaling. The proportion of marine species assessed by scientists as being at risk of global extinction decreased from 18% in 2000 to 11.4% in 2019.
Researchers have identified nine components that are key to ocean restoration: salt marshes, mangroves, marine grasses, coral reefs, algae, oyster reefs, fisheries, megafauna, and the deep ocean.
Scientists are now developing a series of tools that can restore important marine habitats of various animals, for example, oyster reefs. According to scientists, every year until 2050, governments will have to invest about $ 20 billion to restore the oceans. However, each dollar invested will return about $9, scientists say, thanks to improved quality of marine products.
“We now have the skills and experience to be able to restore vital marine habitats such as oyster reefs, mangrove swamps, and salt marshes. They maintain the cleanliness of our seas, protect our shores and provide food to support entire ecosystems”.
Co-author of Callum Roberts, University of York, UK
However, a big problem now is the increase in the average temperature on Earth, which leads to an increase in sea level and water oxidation. An increase in temperature kills tropical reefs and causes fish to migrate to other regions, destroying entire ecosystems.