Chapter 11 Sustaining Aquatic Biodiversity Summary 1. Aquatic biodiversity refers to the composition of plants and animals in the fresh and salt waters of the planet. The economic importance of aquatic diversity lies in the conservative estimate of the value of their ecological services, which is $21 trillion a year. Additionally, at least 3.5 billion people depend on the seas for their primary source of food and this number could double to 7 billion in 2025. Many medicines have been developed from sea organisms: sponges, anemones, puffer fish, porcupine fish, seaweeds, etc. The waters are used for extensive recreational activities, not to mention commercial transportation. 2. Human activities are undermining aquatic biodiversity by destroying and degrading coastal wetlands, coral reefs, seagrass beds, kelp beds, mangroves, and the ocean bottom. 3. We can protect and sustain marine biodiversity by using laws, international treaties, and education. We must identify and protect species that are endangered and/or threatened. This entails cleaning up aquatic
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