International partnership launched to promote conservation efforts for threatened marine species

29 October 2003 | News story

IUCN-The World Conservation Union, Gland, Switzerland, 29 October 2003. IUCN's Species Survival Commission (SSC) is joining forces with the Perry Institute for Marine Science to help protect the world's oceans through research, and the development and promotion of conservation efforts for threatened marine species.

As the threat of extinction increases for a wide variety of marine species, the alliance between the Florida-based Perry Institute and the IUCN/SSC will support critical scientific efforts to identify threatened marine species worldwide. Prioritization for conservation of these species is promoted through SSC's Specialist Groups and other conservation organizations.

Currently, the SSC marine Specialist Groups focus on cetaceans, seals, sirenians, marine turtles, sharks, groupers and wrasses, and coral reef and Caribbean fishes. Threatened marine species, identified by these and additional SSC experts, will be included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the world's most authoritative and comprehensive list of species at risk of extinction.

"As the number of marine additions to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species increases each year, it is essential that conservation organizations team up to pool their resources and knowledge. This new partnership is an extremely welcome step towards implementing SSC's marine programme priorities, which work to prevent the wave of extinctions in the marine realm," said SSC Chair, David Brackett.

"It is clear that international cooperation is a key to success in world-wide marine conservation efforts," says Dr. John Marr, Executive Director of the Perry Institute for Marine Science. "We are very grateful to have gained support for this from Mr. and Mrs. John H. Perry, Jr., active members of the Perry Institute's Board of Trustees, who have awarded a $75,000 grant for the first year of this partnership."

In addition to fostering scientific and conservation efforts on behalf of marine species, the collaboration between the Perry Institute and the Species Survival Commission will also focus on distilling and disseminating scientific information for a range of audiences. Other goals include developing technical resources on extinction and endangerment in marine species, participating in policy processes that affect the management of marine species, and assisting in marine protected area planning efforts.

To coordinate this partnership, the Perry Institute has hired Amie Bräutigam, who has spearheaded SSC's marine programme planning effort in recent years. She brings a breadth of experience to the effort, having worked on international threatened species issues for over 20 years, and will be working from Washington, DC.

"We are very excited about the positive impacts resulting from this partnership," said Roger McManus, SSC Executive Committee's marine focal point, and Board Chairman of the Perry Institute for Marine Science, whose work on worldwide marine conservation has earned international acclaim. "Through cooperative efforts we can learn more about preserving our marine environments and provide tools that will help others do the same."

For more information contact:

Amie Brautigam
SSC Marine Programme
Perry Institute for Marine Science
Tel: +1 202-363.5675
Email: thomsen.brautigam@prodigy.net

Marsha Mimnaugh
Perry Institute for Marine Science
Tel: +1 561-741-0192, extension 117
Email: mmimnaugh@cmrc.org

About The Perry Institute for Marine Science
The Perry Institute for Marine Science, a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Florida since 1970, is dedicated to enhancing understanding of the wider Caribbean region's marine environment by supporting and conducting high quality marine research and education programs in order to provide solutions to people and our oceans. This is accomplished through concentrating on critical marine issues, such as increasing populations of commercial and recreational fisheries, improving and protecting coral reef ecosystems, and studying the causes and consequences of natural and human impact on the oceans. Visit www.cmrc.org for additional information.

About IUCN-The World Conservation Union
Founded in 1948, IUCN brings together 73 states, 107 government agencies, 755 non-governmental organizations, 35 affiliates, and approximately 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries in a global conservation partnership. Its mission is to influence, encourage, and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. The Species Survival Commission, with 120 specialist groups, brings together more than 7,000 scientists, resource managers, and conservation practitioners worldwide, who collaborate on a myriad of projects. Visit www.iucn.org for additional information. The Species Survival Commission is the custodian of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (see www.iucnredlist.org).


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