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Blue Genes: Sharing and Conserving the World's Aquatic Biodiversity

David Greer and Brian Harvey
Earthscan, IDRC

Available formats

A wonderfully written and sorely needed guide to the promise of aquatic genetic resources … brimming with important pointers of ways to realize the potential of the little appreciated and frequently abused aquatic genetic resources.
– Thomas Lovejoy (President, Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment)

This is just what the doctor ordered: a sensible, balanced, and comprehensive overview of how countries can manage their aquatic genetic resources in the biotechnology age.
– Jeffrey A. McNeely (Chief Scientist, IUCN – The World Conservation Union)

The advance of genetic sciences has led to a “blue revolution” in the way we use aquatic biodiversity.

By 2020, the world will be eating almost as much farmed as world fish, marine bacteria could yield the cure for cancer, and deep-sea bacteria may be exploited to consume oil spills. Science is moving ahead at a staggering speed, and the demand for genetic resources is growing rapidly – yes governance and policy lag far behind.

This groundbreaking work is the first to look at the issues of ownership, governance, and trade in aquatic resources. Blue Genes describes the growing demand for aquatic genetic resources and the desperate need to fill the policy vacuum for the management and conservation of aquatic biodiversity as a foundation for rules governing access to and use of aquatic genetic resources. Special attention is paid to the rights of indigenous and local communities providing access to those resources and their role in managing and conserving aquatic biodiversity.

The book concludes with policy recommendations specifically tailored to aquatic resources and uses six case studies from four continents to illustrate key issues.

The authors

David Greer is an independent legal consultant specializing in natural resources and biodiversity management policy.

Brian Harvey is a fisheries biologist and President of the World Fisheries Trust.