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Ecological restoration in the deep sea: Desiderata


  • Van Dover, C.L.
  • Aronson, J.
  • Pendleton, L.
  • Smith, S.
  • Arnaud-Haond, S.
  • Moreno-Mateos, D.
  • Barbier, E.
  • Billett, D.
  • Bowers, K.
  • Danovaro, R.
  • Edwards, A.
  • Kellert, S.
  • Morato, T.
  • Pollard, E.
  • Rogers, A.
  • Warner, R.


An era of expanding deep-ocean industrialization is before us, with policy makers establishing governance frameworks for sustainable management of deep-sea resources while scientists learn more about the ecological structure and functioning of the largest biome on the planet. Missing from discussion of the stewardship of the deep ocean is ecological restoration. If existing activities in the deep sea continue or are expanded and new deep-ocean industries are developed, there is need to consider what is required to minimize or repair resulting damages to the deep-sea environment. In addition, thought should be given as to how any past damage can be rectified. This paper develops the discourse on deep-sea restoration and offers guidance on planning and implementing ecological restoration projects for deep-sea ecosystems that are already, or are at threat of becoming, degraded, damaged or destroyed. Two deep-sea restoration case studies or scenarios are described (deep-sea stony corals on the Darwin Mounds off the west coast of Scotland, deep-sea hydrothermal vents in Manus Basin, Papua New Guinea) and are contrasted with on-going saltmarsh restoration in San Francisco Bay. For these case studies, a set of socio-economic, ecological, and technological decision parameters that might favor (or not) their restoration are examined. Costs for hypothetical restoration scenarios in the deep sea are estimated and first indications suggest they may be two to three orders of magnitude greater per hectare than costs for restoration efforts in shallow-water marine systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Van Dover, C.L. & Aronson, J. & Pendleton, L. & Smith, S. & Arnaud-Haond, S. & Moreno-Mateos, D. & Barbier, E. & Billett, D. & Bowers, K. & Danovaro, R. & Edwards, A. & Kellert, S. & Morato, T. & Poll, 2014. "Ecological restoration in the deep sea: Desiderata," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 98-106.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:44:y:2014:i:c:p:98-106
    DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2013.07.006

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Van Dover, C.L. & Smith, C.R. & Ardron, J. & Dunn, D. & Gjerde, K. & Levin, L. & Smith, S., 2012. "Designating networks of chemosynthetic ecosystem reserves in the deep sea," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 378-381.
    2. Hoagland, Porter & Beaulieu, Stace & Tivey, Maurice A. & Eggert, Roderick G. & German, Christopher & Glowka, Lyle & Lin, Jian, 2010. "Deep-sea mining of seafloor massive sulfides," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 728-732, May.
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    4. David Moreno Mateos & Mary E Power & Francisco A Comín & Roxana Yockteng, 2012. "Structural and Functional Loss in Restored Wetland Ecosystems," Working Papers id:4755, eSocialSciences.
    5. Armstrong, Claire W. & Foley, Naomi S. & Tinch, Rob & van den Hove, Sybille, 2012. "Services from the deep: Steps towards valuation of deep sea goods and services," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 2(C), pages 2-13.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zanoli, Raffaele & Carlesi, Lorenzo & Danovaro, Roberto & Mandolesi, Serena & Naspetti, Simona, 2015. "Valuing unfamiliar Mediterranean deep-sea ecosystems using visual Q-methodology," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 227-236.
    2. Broggiato, Arianna & Arnaud-Haond, Sophie & Chiarolla, Claudio & Greiber, Thomas, 2014. "Fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the utilization of marine genetic resources in areas beyond national jurisdiction: Bridging the gaps between science and policy," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 176-185.
    3. Vaissière, Anne-Charlotte & Levrel, Harold & Pioch, Sylvain & Carlier, Antoine, 2014. "Biodiversity offsets for offshore wind farm projects: The current situation in Europe," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 172-183.
    4. Jens Lüdeke, 2017. "Offshore Wind Energy: Good Practice in Impact Assessment, Mitigation and Compensation," Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management (JEAPM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 19(01), pages 1-31, March.


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