Samples in the AIMS biodiscovery collection.

The marine environment has a wealth of living resources of value to humans, ranging from food, organisms for aquaria, materials and products, as well as bioactive compounds that can be used in medicines, nutrichemicals and agriculture.

The use of these resources needs to be managed to ensure that they are not harvested beyond the natural replenishment capacity of the ecosystem. Sustainable use of a particular resource is at a rate that will not impair the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The demand for many marine resources, however, exceeds natural supply. The sustainable supply for some of these marine resources may be met by aquaculture.

Research at AIMS has helped inform the development of sustainable wild harvesting management. As these practices lead to long term sustainable harvesting they also limit supply. To meet supply, a focus on tropical aquaculture has helped improve the rearing of organisms for seafood, the cosmetic and aquarium industries and reduce the impacts of intensive farming techniques on the environment.

There is great potential for the discovery of new commercially valuable products from marine sources. The AIMS biodiscovery collection provides a resource to investigate such products.