Marine Matters
A Review of Marine Major Ecological Disturbances

Bruce McKay
SeaWeb, 1731 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009;
Kieran Mulvaney
1219 W. 6th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501;

The apparent increase in marine morbidity and mass mortality events, the emergence of new diseases across a range of taxa, increases in harmful algal blooms, and the longterm and often unexplained declines of various wildlife populations have heightened concern and debate over human impacts on the marine environment. Resolving the relative extent to which natural and anthropogenic factors drive marine major disturbance events is becoming increasingly important as public health, economic activity, and biodiversity are threatened along various coastal regions. Understanding environmental change within the context of highly complex systems has proven to be difficult, and thus increased scientific focus on large-scale marine disturbances along with more precautionary approaches in managing human activity are warranted.