What are LMEs ?
Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) are wide areas of ocean space along the Earth’s continental margins, spanning 200,000 square kilometres or more and extending from estuaries and river basins seaward to the outer margins of major currents or the edge of continental shelves. These are the world’s most productive areas of the ocean, where most (about 90%) of the world’s fish catch is taken. LMEs also harbour high levels of biodiversity and provide important ecosystem services. In total, the world’s coastal oceans are divided into 66 LMEs, each defined by unique undersea topography, current dynamics, marine productivity, and food chain interactions. Taken together, LMEs provide direct services estimated at near US$3 trillion each year. However their continued degradation threatens human health, food security and economic development.
The LME Hub
Through the LME Hub website, find out more about individual LMEs around the world and their marine habitats and biodiversity, important fisheries and other environmental services they provide, and the threats and challenges they face. The hub also connects to Global Environment Facility (GEF) LME project websites, and gathers the most up to date information from individual LME projects, including latest initiatives, progress, success stories and lessons learned, as well as management guidelines and toolboxes.
The LME Hub is part of an outreach effort under a Global Environment Facility (GEF) LME-Learn project being implemented by the UNDP, executed by IOC of UNESCO and involving multiple institutional partners, including IUCN.