Tracking Aquatic Morbidity, Mortality, and Disease

International, federal and state agencies have expressed a desire for a single database of historic major marine ecological disturbance (MMED) events and occurrences indexed in both place and time. The HEED (Health, Ecological and Economic Dimensions of) Global Change Program, originally funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Global Programs and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, satisfies one part of the need for a marine epidemiological information system capable of documenting the changes occurring in the world's oceans.



This site contains an information system capable of consolidating event reports from a diversity of sources, and while it is available for demonstration purposes, we hope to use it as a model for future monitoring programs. Our approach draws together the expertise of many disciplines, organizes historic data in one standard format, assesses the integrity and coverage of data, and provides a method for future standardized data collection and analysis. Events within this morbidity and mortality database serve as ecoindicators of ecologically and economically significant disturbances. The overall framework can facilitate an integrated assessment of marine ecosystem health.

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Caption -- Morbidity and mortality events  for marine species and humans are more frequently reported. The higher amplitudes roughly match the ENSO climate cycle and cluster in areas with active monitoring programs and repeated disturbance. The term  Major Marine Ecological Disturbances was originally coined by Ernest H. and Lucy-BunkleyWilliams (click on the graph for a larger view).



Our data depicts an increase in the number and geographic spread of MMEDs over the last several decades, including unprecedented events, and disturbances of increasing severity. These have had, in some cases, significant human health and economic impacts. Increased understanding of MMEDs, through the use of the tracking methodology described here, provides a justification and basis for a rapid response to public health risks and threats to ecosystems.




LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT



LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DATA
1998 Report

MARINE ECOSYSTEMS: EMERGING DISEASES AS INDICATORS OF CHANGE

Authors available for Contact: P.R.Epstein &, B.H.Sherman




Read Here


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Executive Summary



Introduction

Harmful Algae Blooms

Threats to Public Health

Diseases of marine wildlife
... ...

Marine Mammals



. . Shore Birds

. . Sea Turtles

. . Fish

. . Invertebrates

. . Shellfish

. . Seagrass

. . Coral

Spatial case study LMEs

1987 Temporal study

Costs

Caveats

Conclusions

Methods

$ Pfiesteria case study

Glossary

Citations

 

 

 

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