What is LME?
LME or Large Marine Ecosystems are literally huge areas in coastal regions and oceans across the globe that reaches about 200,000 square kilometres. These areas are basically classified as such to give them distinction of their hydrography, population, and diversity. LMEs are also classified for conservation purposes.
The classification system behind LMEs around the world is developed by NOAA or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration based in the US. Classifications are done to increase collaboration among different societies in terms of resource management and environmental preservation and protection. With such intent, LMEs are classified and bound by international law under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
All LMEs around the world produce up to 95% of the world’s marine biomass. This is despite the fact that Large Marine Ecosystems do not cover the depths of the seas and oceans. Because of this fact alone, much of the world’s sea-related activities are conducted in areas designated as LMEs. With many people responsible for pollution and exploitation of these supposedly protected areas, various groups push for stricter conservation guidelines. Without these watchdogs and conservation groups, many of these LMEs will be overexploited with activities like overfishing, constant pollution, water contamination and many other threats to the earth’s water resources. With LME conservation and preservation guidelines and activities, much of the world’s activities are monitored to improve economic sustainability.
Various types of LME are present in different parts of the world. Some LMEs occupy waters that are partly enclosed and isolated from the bigger oceans. The Black Sea is an example of a semi-enclosed LME. Other LMEs like that of Northern Australia is somewhat borderless and extends beyond Australia’s continental borders. Because parameters and borders are not well-defined, these types of LMEs often have sharing systems with various countries in terms of ecosystem management and resource use.