6214 The Explosion of Marine Genetic Resources and Pathways to Their Protection

Friday, February 17, 2012: 3:00 PM
Room 201 (VCC West Building)
Carlos M. Duarte , Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), Mallorca, Spain
The prevalent use of marine biota for food is rapidly shifting to an increased use of marine genetic resources.  These include marine natural products, which have been used by humans for decades, mostly in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic sector, and, more recently, marine genes.  The advent of the use of marine genes is very recent, and was initiated by technological break-throughs in genome sequencing. However, the use of marine genes is growing rapidly, at exponential rates exceeeding 12 % year-1, with over 5,000 genes derived from marine organisms already patended. Unlike the use of marine organisms as food, the use of marine genes does not require the continuous removal of organisms, and is, potentially, sustainable.Yet, population decline due to harvest to investigate marine genetic resources has been documented, suggesting the need to address the protection of these resources as well.