CMAS booklets



The new CMAS booklets for children and young at heart allows you to explore environmental issues, engage in problem solving, and take action to improve the environment. As a result, you can develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues and have the skills to make informed and responsible decisions.

The booklets are available in English, French and Spanish and support the Education for Sustainable Development.

If you are interested to use the booklet in your own CMAS federation and language, feel free to contact the President of the Scientific Committee.

Enjoy it!






In 1998, a huge underwater heatwave killed 16% of the corals on reefs around the world. Triggered by the El Niño of that year, it was declared the first major global coral bleaching event. The second global bleaching event that struck was triggered by the El Niño of 2010. The US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting another strong El Niño and has now announced the third global bleaching event. The event is expected to impact approximately 38% of the world’s coral reefs by the end of this year and kill over 12,000 square kilometres of reefs.

This new phenomenon of mass bleaching is caused by ocean warming – corals are unable to cope with today’s prolonged peaks in temperatures. They simply haven’t been able to adapt to the higher base temperatures of the ocean. Although reefs represent less than 0.1 percent of the world’s ocean floor, they help support approximately 25 percent of all marine species. As a result, the livelihoods of 500 million people and income worth over $30 billion are at stake.

The two previous events caught us relatively unprepared. The world simply didn’t have the technology, understanding or teams in place to reveal and record them properly. This year is different – sponsored by an insurance company interested in the risk resulting from ocean warming, the XL Catlin Seaview Survey, running off predictions issued by NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch programme which have proven to be accurate, has been able to respond quickly.

A major global bleaching event is considered one of the most visual indicators of climate change. Working together with science partners around the world, these free resources have been developed to help you research and communicate this important issue, and to ensure this event doesn’t stay out of sight and out of mind.

„All colleagues have really done a very good job“, so Ralph Schill, President of the CMAS Scietific Committee. The World Underwater Federation (CMAS) support this initiative and recommends that all CMAS federations use this free resources for media and educators.




picture: A before and after image of the bleaching in American Samoa. The first image was taken in December 2014. The second image was taken in February 2015 when the XL Catlin Seaview Survey responded to a NOAA coral bleaching alert (XL Catlin Seaview Survey)





The Assessment marks thefirst time ever that scientific experts have assessed the current knowledge on the biological, chemical, economic, physical and social aspects from an integrated, overall perspective. Steered by the 22 member Group of Experts of the Regular Process, thescientists selected from the Pool of Experts, comprised of some 600 members from all over the globe, have looked at the oceans, their flora and fauna and the ways in which humans are benefitting from, and impacting on the ocean.


In the 55-chapter Assessment, experts on a myriad of disciplines have examined a wide range of issues that affect the oceans’ ecosystems and marine biodiversity, including the impacts of climate change, ice coverage, the frequency of storms, ocean acidification,land-based activities, unsustainable fishing practices, shipping activities, invasive non-native species, offshore hydrocarbon industries and marine debris.And they found that the world’s oceans are in dire shape.

According to the Joint Coordinators of the Group of Experts that led the preparation of the Assessment, Alan Simcock (United Kingdom) and Lorna Inniss(Barbados),“The ocean is a very complex system, and its sustainable management requires us to keep our eye on many aspects simultaneously.There are many gaps in our knowledge of the ocean, in the world-wide capacities to apply it and in the related capacity-building, but solutions exist for many problems, and some have already been implemented in various parts of the world.”


A compilation of the individual files listed below is available here in PDF (20MB)

picture: Wulf Koehler



Sustainable Use of Our Oceans – Making Ideas Work


The fourth edition of the “World Ocean Review” (WOR IV) focuses on sustainability and explores how that concept can guide the management of our marine environment. WOR 4 explains the key ecosystem services supplied by our seas and identifies the main threats to them. It offers an overview of current marine policy at regional and transnational level and shows how conservation and sustainable use of our oceans can be reconciled in future.

WOR IV chapters: Concepts for a better world * How the sea serves us * Politics and the oceans * Hope for the oceans

“World Ocean Review IV″Sustainable Use of Our Oceans – Making Ideas Work, with numerous figures and illustrations.

Free download


Here, you can order free copies of the World Ocean Review:

Free Order





Spotlight on fish -  “HERRING book”

The HERRING project started in 2012 and recently finished in April 2015. The overall aim of the project was to improve the sustainable management of herring spawning grounds in three different case study areas; Vistula Lagoon (Poland), Greifswald Bay (Germany) and Hanö Bight (Sweden).

The project addressed its overall aim from two different perspectives i) governance structures - analysing how herring spawning grounds currently are managed in the respective case study areas and ii) analysis of human impact and ecological parameters affecting the herring spawning grounds. During the project two reports per case study area were developed with respect to the two perspectives mentioned above. A synthesis of these reports have now been compiled into a book called “HERRING – An analysis of spawning ground management, ecological conditions and human impacts in Greifswald Bay, Vistula Lagoon and Hanö Bight”.

The book is divided into four main chapters; Spawning areas and populations, Ecological environment, Human activities and spatial uses and Governance structure. Each chapter provides an analysis of the given subject in each country and case study area, except for the first one which give a general introduction to spawning areas and populations. The book ends with a concluding chapter where the main findings from each case study area are presented with respect to the ecological situation and governance structure. The main intended target group of the book is civil servants and politicians in the three case study areas but also the same categories on regional and national level.

The book is a result of a common effort among several people from the four participating partners in the HERRING project i.e. EUCC- The Coastal Union Germany, National Marine Fisheries Research Institute in Poland, Thuenen Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries in Rostock, Germany and World Maritime University in Sweden.

The book is available as pdf on the project homepage, , but also as a hard copy at any of the project partners listed above.

For more information about the book please contact Henrik Nilsson or Lilitha Pongolini at the World Maritime University in Sweden.

The project HERRING is an international project in the South Baltic, funded by the South Baltic Cross- border Co-operation Programme 2007 - 2013.

Free download: „HERRING book" (~9,5 Mb)



Spotlight on marine litter -  “Marine Anthropogenic Litter”


A new book gives an overview of the current state of research and of research gaps concerning litter in our oceans: “Marine Anthropogenic Litter” will be released by Springer-Verlag as an Open Access publication in June 2015.

The editors, Melanie Bergmann and Lars Gutow from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and Michael Klages from the University of Gothenburg’s Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences, brought together experts from around the globe to contribute to the book.

Estimates of the amount of litter in the world’s oceans, its distribution, effects on humans and biota, and prevention strategies are just some of the complex topics addressed in the book’s 16 chapters.


Free download: „Marine Anthropogenic Litter" (~9 Mb)



LIFE and freshwater fish

The latest LIFE Nature Focus publication takes a close look at the work LIFE projects have done to protect threatened freshwater fish species and improve their habitats. The 64-page brochure, LIFE and freshwater fish, highlights the status of key species and the threats they face, as well as providing an overview of LIFE's efforts to improve their conservation status, help in the management of the Natura 2000 network, and meet the targets set by the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.

Since 1992, more than 135 LIFE projects have directly targeted over 50 threatened freshwater fish species listed in the annexes of the EU Habitats Directive or in the IUCN European Red List. Hundreds more projects have indirectly benefitted fish populations through restoration of river, lake and other habitats vital to the lifecycle of freshwater and migratory fish populations.

The publication features a plethora of best practice examples from such LIFE projects across the EU, including in-depth profiles of projects in Denmark, Estonia, France, Italy and Spain. In addition to chapters on habitat restoration, reintroduction and restocking work, actions to overcome river barriers and stakeholder engagement and awareness-raising measures, LIFE and freshwater fish concludes with a set of lessons from LIFE for all those involved in fish species conservation.

If you are interested in ordering a printed copy of this and other LIFE Focus publications, please visit the ordering publications section of the LIFE website.

Free download: LIFE and freshwater fish (~4 Mb)



Conservation Biology for All

Edited by Navjot S. Sodhi and Paul R. Ehrlich

This book contains a series of authoritative chapters written by top names in conservation biology with the aim of disseminating cutting-edge conservation knowledge as widely as possible. Important topics such as balancing conversion and human needs, climate change, conservation planning, designing and analyzing conservation research, ecosystem services, endangered species management, extinctions, fire, habitat loss, and invasive species are covered. Numrous textboxes describing additional relevant material or case studies are also included.

Conservation Biology for All has been generously made available in its entirety by Oxford University Press here:
 Download Full Text (6.44mb pdf)

For more information or to order a hardback copy of the textbook, please go here:


Living with the oceans

This first “World Ocean Review” (WOR) is published in 2010 and will be followed by periodic updates in the future. The result is a comprehensive, detailed and unique report about the state of the world’s oceans and their interplay with ecological, economic and sociopolitical conditions. Its aim is to increase public awareness of the interconnected nature of the diverse aspects of the marine environment and thus to boost marine conservation.

WOR I chapters: The world oceans, global climate drivers * How climate change alters ocean chemistry * The uncertain future of the coasts * Last stop: The ocean – polluting the seas * Climate change impacts on marine ecosystems * Exploiting a living resource: Fisheries * Marine minerals and energy * Maritime highways of global trade * Medical knowledge from the sea * The law of the sea: A powerful instrument

Free download: “World Ocean Review I″ Living with the oceans – A report on the state of the world's oceans, 240 pages, with numerous figures and illustrations. (Link:
Here, you can order free copies of the World Ocean Review. (Link:


The Future of Fish – The Fisheries of the Future

“World Ocean Review” (WOR I) provided a panoptic overview. The following report (WOR II), the second in the series, focuses on the future of fish and their exploitation. Fish have always been a vital source of life for mankind – not only as a food. Fish continue to be essential to the daily diet of people in most regions of the world. At the same time fisheries provide a livelihood to entire coastal regions and still have great economic clout. All this, however, is in jeopardy and is coming under close scrutiny. Fish stocks are declining worldwide, entire marine regions are overfished and some species are already red-listed.

WOR II chapters: The importance of marine fish * Of fish and folk * Plenty more fish in the sea? * A bright future for fish farming * Getting stock management right *

Free download: “World Ocean Review II″ The Future of Fish – The Fisheries of the Future, 150 Pages, with numerous figures and illustrations. (Link:
Here, you can order free copies of the World Ocean Review. (Link:


Marine Resources – Opportunities and Risks

The third issue of the World Ocean Review, WOR III, is devoted to marine resources – metals and energy – and their utilization. It gives the facts about the extraction of known oil and gas deposits below the ocean floor and examines the impacts upon flora and fauna. It explains how gas hydrates form on continental shelves and what potential they hold. The review further explores in detail the opportunities and risks presented and posed by extracting mineral resources from the seabed: manganese nodules, cobalt crusts and massive sulphides.

WOR III chapters: Oil and gas from the sea * Sea-floor mining * Energy from burning ice * Clean production and equitable distribution

Free download: “World Ocean Review III″ Marine Resources – Opportunities and Risks,
165 Pages, with numerous figures and illustrations (Link:
Here, you can order free copies of the World Ocean Review. (Link: