The California Current Ecosystem (CCE) is a dynamic marine ecosystem from which many socioeconomically important fisheries species are harvested. Here, a genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) approach was used to examine genomic variation in an early life stage (megalopae) of the Dungeness crab (Cancer magister), which constitutes the most valuable single-species commercial fishery in the CCE. Variation in abundance and timing of megalopae recruitment has been extensively studied for over two decades in Coos Bay, Oregon, United States. Within the CCE, documented timing of Dungeness crab life history events indicates that coastal megalopae recruitment is expected to occur April through July; however, long-term studies in Coos Bay have observed late-season recruitment from August to October. Based on variation at 1,913 presumably neutral loci, evidence was found for weak, yet significant differentiation (FST estimate = 0.0011) between the 2014 expected-season recruits (n = 47) and late-season recruits (n = 47) collected in Coos Bay. However, two putatively adaptive loci with a high FSTestimate (0.2036) between expected-season and late-season recruits were identified. These findings support the hypothesis that expected-season and late-season megalopae recruiting to Coos Bay within the same year may have originated from different locations or from different breeding groups. Understanding marine species connectivity between ecosystems is important when considering how future changes in ocean conditions may impact fishery harvests.
Previous studies have found that calcification in coral reefs is generally stronger during the day, whereas dissolution is prevalent at night. On the basis of these contrasting patterns, the diel variations of net community calcification (NCC) were monitored to examine the relative sensitivity of CaCO3 production (calcification) and dissolution in coral reefs to ocean acidification (OA), using two mesocosms that replicated a typical subtropical coral reef ecosystem in southern Taiwan. The results revealed that the daytime NCC remained unchanged, whereas the nighttime NCC decreased between the control (ambient) and treatment (OA) conditions, suggesting that carbonate dissolution could be more sensitive to OA than coral calcification. The average sensitivity of the integrated daily NCC to changes in the seawater saturation state (Ωa) was estimated to be a reduction of 54% in NCC per unit change in Ωa, which is consistent with the global average. In summary, our results support the prevailing anticipation that OA would lead to a reduction in the overall accretion of coral reef ecosystems. However, increased CaCO3 dissolution rather than decreased coral calcification could be the dominant driving force responsible for this OA-induced reduction in NCC.
Two adjacent estuaries in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) (Mission–Aransas or MAE and Guadalupe–San Antonio or GE), despite their close proximity and similar extents of freshening caused by Hurricane Harvey, exhibited different behaviors in their post-hurricane carbonate chemistry and CO2fluxes. The oligotrophic MAE had little change in post-Harvey CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) and CO2 flux even though the center of Harvey passed right through, while GE showed a large post-Harvey increases in both pCO2 and CO2 flux, which were accompanied by a brief period of low dissolved oxygen (DO) conditions likely due to the large input of organic matter mobilized by the hurricane. The differences in the carbonate chemistry and CO2 fluxes were attributed to the differences in the watersheds from which these estuaries receive freshwater. The GE watershed is larger and covers urbanized areas, and, as a result, GE is considered relatively eutrophic. On the other hand, the MAE watershed is smaller, much less populous, and MAE is oligotrophic when river discharge is low. Despite that Harvey passed through MAE, the induced changes in carbonate chemistry and CO2 flux there were less conspicuous than those in GE. This study suggested that disturbances by strong storms to estuarine carbon cycle may not be uniform even on such a small spatial scale. Therefore, disparate responses to these disturbances need to be studied on a case-by-case basis.
Improved comparability of nutrient concentrations in seawater is required to enhance the quality and utility of measurements reported to global databases. Significant progress has been made over recent decades in improving the analysis and data quality for traditional laboratory measurements of nutrients. Similar efforts are required to establish high-quality data outputs from in situ nutrient sensors, which are rapidly becoming integral components of ocean observing systems. This paper suggests using the good practices routine established for laboratory reference methods to propose a harmonized set of deployment protocols and of quality control procedures for nutrient measurements obtained from in situsensors. These procedures are intended to establish a framework to standardize the technical and analytical controls carried out on the three main types of in situ nutrient sensors currently available (wet chemical analyzers, ultraviolet optical sensors, electrochemical sensors) for their deployments on all kinds of platform. The routine reference controls that can be applied to the sensors are listed for each step of sensor use: initial qualification under controlled conditions in the laboratory, preparation of the sensor before deployment, field deployment and finally the sensor recovery. The fundamental principles applied to the laboratory reference method are then reviewed in terms of the calibration protocol, instrumental interferences, environmental interferences, external controls, and method performance assessment. Data corrections (linearity, sensitivity, drifts, interferences and outliers) are finally identified along with the concepts and calculations for qualification for both real time and time delayed data. This paper emphasizes the necessity of future collaborations between research groups, reference-accredited laboratories, and technology developers, to maintain comparability of the concentrations reported for the various nutrient parameters measured by in situ sensors.
The European Parliament is concerned about the lack of information on the relevance of nine million Europeans engaged in marine recreational fishing (MRF), committing Member States to encourage environmental and socioeconomic sustainability of the sector. The objective of this paper is to provide recommendations to guide research actions and management policies, based on the case of Spain, a key country because its complex administrative regimen and the intensive use of its coasts, including 900,000 recreational fishers. A review of the state of the knowledge was performed to identify research gaps, while governance challenges were identified in an International Symposium on MRF. In the last two decades research on MRF was remarkable (139 publications). However, public investment in research (€2.44 million in the same period) should be improved to cover knowledge gaps on socioeconomic relevance, on impacts on vulnerable species and on implications of global warming. The license system should be standardized to allow estimation of effort, catch and expenditure. Social networks, mobile applications, fisher ecological knowledge, and citizen science programs could help to develop cost-effective research and management. Science-based, adaptive policies should improve the allocation of resources between MRF and other stakeholders, introducing co-management to reduce conflicts.
The “blob” of anomalously warm surface water that persisted in the North Pacific Ocean from 2013 to 2016 resulted in a massive harmful algal bloom (HAB) of Pseudo-nitzschia along the entire United States West Coast. The bloom produced record-breaking concentrations of domoic acid, a marine neurotoxin, that contaminated seafood and necessitated fisheries harvest closures beginning in May 2015. The subsequent closures were unprecedented in length and geographic extent, generating an economic shock for fishing communities. We sought to identify effective adaptive actions used in fishery-dependent communities in response to this event. Using survey data collected across 16 fishing communities following the 2015 HAB event, we empirically identified factors affecting an individual’s: (1) absolute magnitude of income loss, (2) likelihood of income loss recovery, and (3) severity of emotional stress. Our findings indicate that individuals who suffered greater absolute income losses were exposed to longer fisheries closures, more dependent on shellfish as a source of income, and employed in the fishing industry. Income diversification was an effective strategy for reducing and/or recovering HAB related income losses. Advertising was also found to be an effective income recovery strategy, but for fishers it was associated with increased emotional stress. If increasing the adaptive capacity of fishery-dependent coastal communities to HAB events is a policy goal, then costs to adaptive action such as emotional stress, limited access to alternate fisheries, new fishing gear, a lack of alternate job skills or access to job networks, and a lack of advertising know-how will need to be addressed.
Interest and growth in marine aquaculture are increasing around the world, and with it, advanced spatial planning approaches are needed to find suitable locations in an increasingly crowded ocean. Standard spatial planning approaches, such as a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA), may be challenging and time consuming to interpret in heavily utilized ocean spaces. Spatial autocorrelation, a statistical measure of spatial dependence, may be incorporated into the planning framework, which provides objectivity and assistance with the interpretation of spatial analysis results. Here, two case studies highlighting applications of spatial autocorrelation analyses in the northeast region of the United States of America are presented. The first case study demonstrates the use of a local indicator of spatial association analysis within a relative site suitability analysis – a variant of a MCDA – for siting a mussel longline farm. This case study statistically identified 17% of the area as highly suitable for a mussel longline farm, relative to other locations in the area of interest. The use of a clear, objective, and efficient analysis provides improved confidence for industry, coastal managers, and stakeholders planning marine aquaculture. The second case study presents an incremental spatial autocorrelation analysis with Moran’s I that is performed on modeled and remotely sensed oceanographic data sets (e.g., chlorophyll a, sea surface temperature, and current speed). The results are used to establish a maximum area threshold for each oceanographic variable within the online decision support tool, OceanReports, which performs an automated spatial analysis for a user-selected area (i.e., drawn polygon) of ocean space. These thresholds provide users guidance and summary statistics of relevant oceanographic information for aquaculture planning. These two case studies highlight practical uses and the value of spatial autocorrelation analyses to improve the siting process for marine aquaculture.
Mangroves provide many ecosystem services including a considerable capacity to sequester and store large amounts of carbon, both in the sediment and in the above-ground biomass. Assessment of mangrove above-ground carbon stock relies on accurate measurement of tree biomass, which traditionally involves collecting direct measurements from trees and relating these to biomass using allometric relationships. We investigated the potential to predict tree biomass using measurements derived from unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, imagery. This approach has the potential to dramatically reduce time-consuming fieldwork, providing greater spatial survey coverage and return for effort, and may enable data to be collected in otherwise hazardous or inaccessible areas. We imaged an Avicennia marina (grey mangrove) stand using an RGB camera mounted on a UAV. The imaged trees were subsequently felled, enabling physical measurements to be taken for traditional biomass estimation techniques, as well as direct measurements of biomass and tissue carbon content. UAV image-based tree height measurements were highly accurate (R2 = 0.98). However, the variables that could be measured from the UAV imagery (tree height and canopy area) were poor predictors of tree biomass. Using the physical measurement data, we identified that trunk diameter is a key predictor of A. marina biomass. Unfortunately, trunk diameter cannot be directly measured from the UAV imagery, but it can be predicted (with some error) using models that incorporate other UAV image-based measurements, such as tree height and canopy area. However, reliance on second-order estimates of trunk diameter leads to increased uncertainty in the subsequent predictions of A. marina biomass, compared to using physical measurements of trunk diameter taken directly from the trees. Our study demonstrates that there is potential to use UAV-based imagery to measure mangrove A. marina tree structural characteristics and biomass. Further refinement of the relationship between UAV image-based measurements and tree diameter is needed to reduce error in biomass predictions. UAV image-based estimates can be made far more quickly and over extensive areas when compared to traditional data collection techniques and, with improved accuracy through further model-calibration, have the potential to be a powerful tool for mangrove biomass and carbon storage estimation.
Offshore aquaculture of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) has been proposed by the US Department of Energy for large scale biofuel production along the west coast of California. The Southern Californian Bight provides an ideal area for offshore kelp aquaculture as the upwelling and advection of cool, nutrient-rich waters supports the growth of vast native giant kelp populations. However, concentrations of nutrients vary greatly across space, can be limiting for kelp growth over seasonal to interannual time scales, and inputs of nutrients to surface waters may be subject to local circulation processes. Therefore, it is important to understand both the spatiotemporal variability of seawater nitrate concentrations and the appropriate scale of observation in order for offshore kelp aquaculture to be successful. Here, we use a combination of satellite sea surface temperature imagery, in situ measurements, and modeling to determine seawater nitrate fields across multiple spatial and temporal scales. We then combine this information with known giant kelp physiological traits to develop a kelp stress index (KSI) for the optimal siting of offshore kelp aquaculture over seasonal to decadal scales. Temperature to nitrate relationships were determined from in situ measurements using generalized additive models and validated with buoy data. Summer and winter relationships were significantly different, and satellite-derived products compared well to buoy validations. Surface nitrate patterns, as derived from satellite temperature products, reveal the spatial variability in nitrate concentrations, and indicate areas that that may cause nutrient stress seasonally and during the negative phase of the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation. As the spatial scale of the surface nitrate product decreased, the negative bias increased and fine scale spatial variability was lost. Similarly, the averaging of daily nitrate concentration determinations over longer time scales increased the negative bias. We found that daily, 1 km spatial resolution nitrate products were most sufficient for identifying localized upwelling and areas of consistently high surface nitrate concentrations, and that areas in the northern and western-most portions of the Southern California Bight are the most suitable for sustained offshore kelp aquaculture.
The beginning of 2015 saw a new era within the United Nations: the era of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Built off the previous Millennium Development Goals, this new set of goals included 17 target areas, including, for the first time, an explicit global goal related to the ocean. In June 2017, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, a high-level conference surrounding SDG 14: Life Under Water convened. One dimension of goal 14 calls for 10% of the ocean conserved by the year 2020, through sub-target 14.5. That 10% fulfillment is often thought of in terms of areal coverage via marine protected areas (MPAs). While many objectives were laid out for this conference, one of the most prominent objectives was to build on existing partnerships and foster new collaborations. One way to achieve this target was through the creation of the voluntary commitment program. This “Call for Action” came from heads of state and government, as well as high-level representatives from organizations and stakeholder groups. Under this “Call for Action,” 22 actions related to goal 14 were listed for stakeholders to partake in, including an appeal to create voluntary commitments surrounding the oceans. As of September 2017, 1,395 voluntary commitments had been registered through the voluntary commitment portal process, spanning across organizations and disciplines. Here, we analyze these commitments, specifically those related to the fifth sub-target of SDG 14. Commitments were further refined through spotlighting on those under 14.5 that focused on different forms of resilience. The resulting 133 separate codes covered over 12 distinct forms of resilience. Through analyzing commitments, we map out future plans and predict different forms of MPAs. This research shows collaboration and co-production of knowledge linking across the SDGs. This work can be seen as a stepping-stone to the fulfillment of 10% conservation by 2020.
The increasing public perception that marine megafauna is under threat is an outstanding incentive to investigate their essential habitats (EMH), their responses to human and climate change pressures, and to better understand their largely unexplained behaviors and physiology. Yet, this poses serious challenges such as the elusiveness and remoteness of marine megafauna, the growing scrutiny and legal impositions on their study, and difficulties in disentangling environmental drivers from human disturbance. We argue that advancing our knowledge and conservation on marine megafauna can and should be capitalized in regions where exceptional access to multiple species (i.e., megafauna ‘hotspots’) combines with the adequate legal framework, sustainable practices, and research capacity. The wider Azores region, hosting EMHs of all key groups of vulnerable or endangered vertebrate marine megafauna, is a singular EMH hotspot on a migratory crossroads, linking eastern and western Atlantic margins and productive boreal waters to tropical seas. It benefits from a sustainable development model based on artisanal fisheries with zero or minor megafauna bycatch, and one of the largest marine protected area networks in the Atlantic covering coastal, oceanic and deepsea habitats. Developing this model can largely ensure the future integrity of this EMH hotspot while fostering cutting-edge science and technological development on megafauna behavior, biologging and increased ocean observation, with potential major impacts on the Blue Growth agenda. An action plan is proposed.
Estimates of organic carbon (Corg) storage by seagrass meadows which consider inter-habitat variability are essential to understand their potential to sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) and derive robust global and regional estimates of blue carbon storage. In this study, we provide baseline estimates of seagrass extent, and soil Corg stocks and accumulation rates from different seagrass habitats at Rottnest Island (in Amphibolis spp., Posidonia spp., Halophila ovalis, and mixed Posidonia/Amphibolis spp. meadows). The Corg stocks in 0.5 m thick seagrass soil deposits, derived from 24 cores, were 5.1 ± 0.7 kg Corg m–2(mean ± SE, ranging from 0.05 to 12.9 kg Corg m–2), accumulating at 23.2 ± 3.2 g Corg m–2 year–1(ranging from 0.22 to 58.9 g Corg m–2 year–1) over the last decades. There were significant differences in Corg content (%) and stocks (mg Corg cm–3), stable carbon isotope composition of the soil organic matter (δ13C), and soil grain size among the seagrass meadows studied, highlighting that biotic and abiotic factors influence seagrass soil Corg storage. Mixed meadows of Posidonia/Amphibolis spp. and monospecific meadows of Posidonia spp. and Amphibolis spp. had the highest Corg stocks (ranging from 6.2 to 6.4 kg Corg m–2), while Halophila spp. meadows had the lowest Corg stocks (1.2 ± 0.6 kg Corg m–2). We estimated a total soil Corg stock of 48.1 ± 8.5 Gg Corg beneath the 755 ha of Rottnest Island’s seagrasses, and a Corg sequestration capacity of 0.81 ± 0.06 Gg Corg year–1, which is equivalent to the sequestration of ∼22% of the island’s current annual CO2 emissions. Our results contribute to the existing global dataset on seagrass soil Corg storage and show a significant potential of seagrass to sequester CO2, which are particularly relevant in the context of achieving carbon neutrality through conservation actions in environmentally-marketed, tourist destinations such as Rottnest Island.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis is a rapid, non-invasive method for species detection and distribution assessment using DNA released into the surrounding environment by an organism. eDNA analysis is recognised as a powerful tool for detecting endangered or rare species in a range of ecosystems. Although the number of studies using eDNA analysis in marine systems is continually increasing, there appears to be no published studies investigating the use of eDNA analysis to detect sea turtles in natural conditions. We tested the efficacy of two primer pairs known to amplify DNA fragments of differing lengths (488 and 253 bp) from Chelonia mydas tissues for detecting C. mydas eDNA in water samples. The capture, extraction, and amplification of C. mydas eDNA from aquaria (Sea World, San Diego, CA, United States) and natural water (San Diego Bay, CA, United States) were successful using either primer set. The primer pair providing the shorter amplicon, LCMint2/H950g, demonstrated the ability to distinguish cross-reactive species by melt curve analysis and provided superior amplification metrics compared to the other primer set (LTCM2/HDCM2); although primer dimer was observed, warranting future design refinement. Results indicated that water samples taken from deeper depths might improve detection frequency, consistent with C. mydas behaviour. Overall, this pilot study suggests that with refinement of sampling methodology and further assay optimisation, eDNA analysis represents a promising tool to monitor C. mydas. Potential applications include rapid assessment across broad geographical areas to pinpoint promising locations for further evaluation with traditional methods.
The health of coastal human communities and marine ecosystems are at risk from a host of anthropogenic stressors, in particular, climate change. Because ecological health and human well-being are inextricably connected, effective and positive responses to current risks require multidisciplinary solutions. Yet, the complexity of coupled social–ecological systems has left many potential solutions unidentified or insufficiently explored. The urgent need to achieve positive social and ecological outcomes across local and global scales necessitates rapid and targeted multidisciplinary research to identify solutions that have the greatest chance of promoting benefits for both people and nature. To address these challenges, we conducted a forecasting exercise with a diverse, multidisciplinary team to identify priority research questions needed to promote sustainable and just marine social–ecological systems now and into the future, within the context of climate change and population growth. In contrast to the traditional reactive cycle of science and management, we aimed to generate questions that focus on what we need to know, before we need to know it. Participants were presented with the question, “If we were managing oceans in 2050 and looking back, what research, primary or synthetic, would wish we had invested in today?” We first identified major social and ecological events over the past 60 years that shaped current human relationships with coasts and oceans. We then used a modified Delphi approach to identify nine priority research areas and 46 questions focused on increasing sustainability and well-being in marine social–ecological systems. The research areas we identified include relationships between ecological and human health, access to resources, equity, governance, economics, resilience, and technology. Most questions require increased collaboration across traditionally distinct disciplines and sectors for successful study and implementation. By identifying these questions, we hope to facilitate the discourse, research, and policies needed to rapidly promote healthy marine ecosystems and the human communities that depend upon them.
Numerical simulations and emissions estimates of plastic in and to the ocean consistently over-predict the surface inventory, particularly in the case of microplastic (MP), i.e., fragments less than 5 mm in length. Sequestration in the sediments has been both predicted and, to a limited extent, observed. It has been hypothesized that biology may be exporting a significant fraction of surface MP by way of marine snow aggregation and zooplankton fecal pellets. We apply previously published data on MP concentrations in the surface ocean to an earth system model of intermediate complexity to produce a first estimate of the potential global sequestration of MP by marine aggregates, including fecal pellets. We find a MP seafloor export potential of between 7.3E3 and 4.2E5 metric tons per year, or about 0.06–8.8% of estimated total annual plastic ocean pollution rates. We find that presently, aggregates alone would have the potential to remove most existing surface ocean MP to the seafloor within less than 2 years if pollution ceases. However, the observed accumulation of MP in the surface ocean, despite this high potential rate of removal, suggests that detrital export is an ineffective pathway for permanent MP removal. We theorize a prominent role of MP biological fouling and de-fouling in the rapid recycling of aggregate-associated MP in the upper ocean. We also present an estimate of how the potential detrital MP sink might change into the future, as climate change (and projected increasing MP pollution) alters the marine habitat. The polar regions, and the Arctic in particular, are projected to experience increasing removal rates as export production increases faster than MP pollution. Northern hemisphere subtropical gyres are projected to experience slowing removal rates as stratification and warming decrease export production, and MP pollution increases. However, significant uncertainty accompanies these results.
There is abundant evidence that anthropogenic activities have polluted all compartments of the oceans, from the poles to the tropics, by different physical, chemical, and biological stressors. Chemical pollution is particularly tackled here with focus on legacy pollutants and newly emerging man-made compounds (xenobiotics) or anthropogenic forcing in the increase of natural chemical substances. It has been estimated that more than 100,000 chemicals are currently on the market [ECHA (European Chemicals Agency), 2017], and thousands of new substances are being introduced every year due to industrialization, intensive agriculture, and urban development. This has led to a continuous flow of chemical products to the oceans that have the potential to alter the structure of ecosystems by causing changes in the biotic communities that constitute them.
Most marine litter pollution is assumed to originate from land-based sources, entering the marine environment through rivers. To better understand and quantify the risk that plastic pollution poses on aquatic ecosystems, and to develop effective prevention and mitigation methods, a better understanding of riverine plastic transport is needed. To achieve this, quantification of riverine plastic transport is crucial. Here, we demonstrate how established methods can be combined to provide a rapid and cost-effective characterization and quantification of floating macroplastic transport in the River Rhine. We combine visual observations with passive sampling to arrive at a first-order estimate of macroplastic transport, both in number (10–75 items per hour) and mass per unit of time (1.3–9.7 kg per day). Additionally, our assessment gives insight in the most abundant macroplastic polymer types the downstream reach of the River Rhine. Furthermore, we explore the spatial and temporal variation of plastic transport within the river, and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of current sampling methods. Finally, we present an outlook for future monitoring of major rivers, including several suggestions on how to expand the rapid assessment presented in this paper.
Farming of eucheumatoid seaweeds is a widespread, promising activity and an important livelihood option in many tropical coastal areas as for example in East Africa, Western Indian Ocean (WIO). Compared to other types of aquaculture, seaweed farming has generally low impact on the environment. Nonetheless, there are potential direct or indirect negative effects of seaweed farming, such as introduction of alien species and changes in local environmental conditions. Although farming has been practiced in this region during several decades, the knowledge concerning the actual environmental impacts from faming non-native eucheumatoid haplotypes and consequently how to manage farming activities to mitigate those is highly limited. In this review, we provide a summary of the current scientific knowledge of potential direct and indirect negative environmental effects linked to eucheumatoid seaweed farming such as alterations of benthic macrophyte habitats and loss of native biodiversity. Furthermore, we highlight knowledge gaps that are of importance to address in the near future, e.g., large-scale ecosystem effects and farms as potential vectors of pathogens. We also provide a number of feasible management recommendations to be implemented for a continued development of environmentally sustainable seaweed farming practices in the WIO region, which includes spatial planning of farms to avoid sensitive areas and farming of native haplotypes of eucheumatoids instead of introduced specimens.
The small island coast is an area that is vulnerable to environmental problems. Debris problems occur in some areas of Tunda Island with low human activity, due to current and wind factors that can distribute the debris. The speed and direction of wind and currents in Indonesia are influenced by the seasons, so the seasons have an influence on the accumulation of debris in a place. This study aims to determine the effect of the season on the distribution of debris and potential sources that influence the presence of debris on the coast of Tunda Island, Banten. This study uses MIKE 21 software to determine current and wind patterns and movement of macro debris particles. Based on season research, it influences the pattern of macro debris distribution in this area. In the east season, the increase in the litter is 9 kg from the weight of the debris in the west season. Also, there is an increase in debris in several categories including the most likely to find items, fishing gear, packaging material, small pieces trash, and base wood materials. The potential source that affects the presence of debris on the coast of Tunda Island, Banten is Muara Ciujung.
The “Blue Economy (BE)” is an increasingly popular concept as a strategy for safeguarding the world’s oceans and water resources. It may emerge when economic activity is in balance with the long term capacity of ocean ecosystems to support the activity in a sustainable manner. Importantly, the concept of BE posits the inherent conflicts between two discourses—growth and development, and protection of ocean resources. The inherent conflicts require solutions to embrace the opportunities associated with the ocean economy while recognizing and addressing its threats. The potential solutions on a global scale are advocated by the United Nations in their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, we notice that the identification of the scope and boundaries of the BE in line with the UN’s SDGs is vague even challenging, and the key stakeholders and their interests and roles in the BE are also vague. This review examines the scientific evidence of the association between the BE and the UN’s SDGs, and relevance and alignment of stakeholders on the link between the BE and SDGs. Based on a literature survey between 1998 and 2018, we find that BE is highly associated with SDGs 14–17. Notably, we find that stakeholders prefer SDG 3 Good Health & Well-Being and SDG 8 Decent Work & Economic Growth in the BE context. As stakeholder involvement shows some differences and variations in the relationship between the BE and SDGs, we consider that stakeholders can play some roles directly or indirectly in the BE-SDGs context. In order to set achievable goals and targets in BE-SDGs, we support that key stakeholders should be identified to play several important roles in prosperous economic, societal development and setting tolerable ranges for the ocean biosphere.