New study by ABPmer for Natural Resources Wales to understand the role marine habitats play in climate change mitigation. Click here. The research confirmed that marine habitats in Wales, such as saltmarshes and seagrass beds, can lock up huge amounts of carbon every year; the volume of carbon they can store is similar to those of terrestrial areas such as the Welsh woodlands and forests.
The study summarises latest information on carbon storage in the water column, intertidal habitats, and subtidal habitats such as shellfish beds and sedimentary habitats. Of the coastal habitats examined in the study, saltmarshes were the most efficient at taking in carbon and placing it in long term storage. Each year the marine environment locks away carbon amounting to the equivalent annual emissions of 64,800 cars or 115,600 return flights from Cardiff to the Canary Islands.
The report flags up the potential to improve the management of the Welsh marine area for blue carbon. In particular, the protection and restoration of habitats such as saltmarsh and seagrass which store and sequester carbon could contribute to significant increases in blue carbon. Greater protection of areas of seabed supporting (or with the potential to support) bivalve beds could also increase carbon sequestration.