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Regional State of the Coast Report

Western Indian Ocean

image of Regional State of the Coast Report

The Regional State of Coast Report for the western Indian Ocean (WIO) is the first comprehensive regional synthesis to provide insights into the enormous economic potential around the WIO, the consequential demand for marine ecosystem goods and services to match the increasing human population, the pace and scale of environmental changes taking place in the region and the opportunities to avoid serious degradation in one of the world’s unique and highly biodiverse oceans.

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Threatened marine species

This chapter describes the marine species whose continued presence in the western Indian Ocean (WIO) is considered threatened. Decades ago it would have been inconceivable for most people to consider marine creatures becoming scarce or even going extinct. The vastness of the oceans compared to the seemingly tiny footprint of human activities should surely preclude species disappearing. Unfortunately, things have changed dramatically. Humans all but exterminated the last blue whales over one hundred years ago. In recent history, numerous terrestrial mammals, birds, snakes and frogs can no longer survive in the wild in large enough populations to ensure their continued existence on Earth (eg Myers and others, 2000, Brooks and others, 2006).

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