Editor’s note: Every month, I skim dozens of newsletters, reports, and articles for material relevant to managing and conserving marine ecosystems. And every month, I’m a little shellshocked by the onslaught of bad news. People ask me how I like my job, and I tell them that I love the oceans, I love the work, and I love the people I work with, but it is profoundly sad to chronicle the decline of ocean ecosystems. I know many Skimmer readers have these same – and perhaps even more intense – feelings and experiences. Several recent studies and a body of recent reporting are now providing a framework for recognizing and legitimizing these feelings and experiences as well as highlighting the need to develop systems to deal with them. This Skimmer provides a brief summary of recent research and news in the hopes it can help marine conservation and management practitioners move forward with their vital work studying, managing, and protecting marine ecosystems.
What is ecological grief?
- As professionals in the marine conservation and management field, Skimmer readers are hyperaware of large scale and global changes to marine ecosystems – changes including loss of biodiversity, top predators, iconic species, and biomass and the degradation of habitats. These changes are due to climate change, overfishing, coastal development, and other human activities.
- New research is now examining the emotional and psychological toll that these changes are having on people, especially: