Our oceans and seas have always been used by humans and the exploitation of marine resources will further increase in the future. Besides from rather traditional uses such as transport (shipping), installation of subsea cables, fishing activities, marine aggregate extraction, and military activities new developments as offshore wind farms or subsea pipelines are established. Even the exploitation of the deepsea environment (collection of manganes nodules; for manganese nodules see lower picture on the right) is intensified.
There are quite a number of possible impacts associated with such uses. The responsibility of marine ecologists is to identify potential risks for the marine ecosystem and to make results from scientific studies concerning such issues public. They provide the basis for the application of adequate measures by federal and state governments as well as environmental agencies to protect our oceans.