Can the world's marine environments remain healthy and functioning under the influence of man, from pollution to over fishing and climate change? In Saving Species this week, Brett Westwood looks in depth at some of the issues and research being carried out into the species which depend upon this often abused natural resource.
Helen Scales travels to the Gambia, where issues of oyster overfishing are having a devastating effect not only on the native oysters that were once plentiful in this area but also the coastal mangrove swamps which are now under threat. Can local community efforts being put into action reverse this environmental problem?
In Florida, Howard Stableford joins marine researchers for an evening on a sandy beach. Shunning the bright lights and partying tourists he follows the fortunes of loggerhead turtles coming to breed along this stretch of coastline. In a race against time, climate change is having a destabilising effect on the sex ratio of turtle hatchlings and therefore poses a real threat to the long term viability of the species.
And closer to home, we look at the 2012 breeding season of some of our breeding seabirds. How have they fared this summer which has seen unseasonal summer storms batter our coastline at a time when many seabird researchers are discovering a mixed picture in terms of breeding success? So what are the causes of this instability?
Listen to Saving Species
You can listen to this episode of Saving Species on BBC Radio 4 at 11:00am on Tuesday 25 September 2012. More information and a link to listen again can be found on the Radio 4 website.