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A Blueprint for the Oceans: Implications of Two National Commission Reports for Conservation Practitioners

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Abstract:  In the first comprehensive reviews since 1969, two high‐level reports on the status of U.S. marine ecosystems and resources have been released: that of the nongovernmental Pew Oceans Commission in 2003 and that of the congressionally mandated U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy in 2004 . Although the two commissions differed in the breadth and depth of their mandates, their findings on the state of our oceans and need for new management approaches are similar, and their major recommendations for science, governance, management and conservation, and education echo and reinforce each other. The history behind the two commissions and the structure and objectives of each remind us of the crucial roles conservation practitioners and scientists must play in the implementation of report recommendations. The reports suggest priorities for conservation practitioners to improve science, management, conservation, governance, and education to better manage and protect ocean resources and ecosystems. To redirect activities affecting the state of global marine resources, integrated research; education and outreach by terrestrial, aquatic, and marine conservation practitioners; and a clear definition of their roles in the implementation of recommendations is essential. Marine ecosystems provide a test case of society's ability to manage complexity in human and natural systems in an integrated manner, with extensive opportunities for participation by conservation practitioners from all disciplines.
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Language: English

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, 3029 Cordley Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, U.S.A., 2: Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024, U.S.A.; and National Marine Protected Areas Center, Science Institute, 110 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, U.S.A. 3: Department of Fisheries & Wildlife, Oregon State University, 104 Nash Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, U.S.A. 4: Program on the Environment, University of Washington at Seattle, Box 352802, Seattle, WA 98195-2802 U.S.A. and IAS Environmental Science Program, University of Washington at Tacoma, Box 358436, 1900 Commerce Street, Tacoma, WA 98402-3100, U.S.A.

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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