A very warm welcome, wherever you are, to our first ever January edition!
The need to ensure a sustainable future for the oceans is one of the great missions of the next decade. The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), a collective endeavour to fulfil that mission, kicks off this month. This is a really significant initiative which will influence research programmes, marine policy, research infrastructure planning, and citizen science around the world. We are honoured to include an exclusive interview about the Decade with Vladimir Ryabinin, Head of the IOC (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO).
So, what else is in store in this edition? Industrial fishing is not the only threat to open ocean sharks. In our cover story, an international team of scientists led by Professor David Sims at the MBA's Plymouth laboratory is investigating how sharks and tunas will respond to climate-driven ocean deoxygenation. Professor Chris Reid explains why our One Ocean is the beating heart of the world, and what steps must be taken to ensure its recovery and restoration.
In November, the UK Government completed its commitment to protect 4 million km2 of ocean ‘Blue Belt’ by 2020, with the addition of the world's fourth largest no-take zone around Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic. This is great news. However, in the bigger question of marine protected areas, there is concern that lines in the sea don't necessarily result in desired conservation outcomes. MBA Fellow Professor John Humphreys articulates his thoughts on how bad marine policy can emerge from good intentions.
Watch this space for the UK-Russia Arctic-themed issue of The Marine Biologist magazine in April. The special issue will showcase exciting new UK-Russia marine science collaborations; explore what cutting-edge research scientists are focusing on and why; tell personal stories of what it is like to be involved in Arctic marine expeditions in Russia, and much more.
For younger readers, we introduce Science Journal for Kids. Look out for these accessible adaptations of cutting-edge marine biological research in upcoming editions of the magazine.
The past year pushed us to adapt and transform our approach to life, work, and almost everything else. But that was then. The future looks exciting for our community as marine science finds itself at the forefront of the new decade. Here's to 2021, with hope, ambition, and an ocean of optimism!
Guy Baker (Editor)