Why is it Important?

Marine fish and invertebrates are among the last sources of wild food on the planet, providing over 2.6 billion people with at least 20% of their average per capita protein intake. Moreover, the world's oceans host 32 of the 34 known phyla on Earth and contain somewhere between 500,000 and 10 million marine species. Species diversity is known to be as high as 1000 per square metre in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, and new oceanic species are continuously being discovered, particularly in the deep sea. It is therefore not surprising that the genetic resources in the oceans and coasts are of actual and potential interest for commercial uses.