Indicator: CO-09 Number of compounds from coastal and marine sources at some stage of commercial development
There is no mechanism at present for counting the number of marine compounds and medicines that are currently used or being developed for commercial use. However, of the top 150 prescription drugs used in the US, 118 originate from natural sources: 74 per cent from plants, 18 per cent from fungi, five per cent from bacteria, and three per cent from one vertebrate (a snake species) (Daily et al. 1997).
Some recent examples of research into marine compounds turning up promising results can be cited.
For example, a 2002 paper from the Australian Institute of Marine Research describes research which found that treating a tropical marine bacterium to UVA radiation significantly enhanced the antioxidant form of a coenzyme (Q5) . Given the relationship between metabolic oxidation and ageing processes in humans, the researchers conclude that marine bacteria, having evolved to establish an oxygenic environment, may serve as a cellular model to probe regulation of human ageing processes. They consider that marine bacteria may offer a therapeutic strategy to retard the progressive debilitation and the development of degenerative disease in human ageing.
Source: Dunlap et al 2002, Environmental biochemistry and photobiology, viewed 9 May 2006, http://www.aims.gov.au/pages/research/environmental-biochemistry/aapm-01.html.
Data to populate the indicator are not available. The example is merely illustrative of the importance and potential importance of this contribution of marine biodiversity to human life.
No data available, example only.
Marine organisms are a source of potentially useful biological compounds, including medicines. Number of compounds originating from the oceans that are at some stage of commercial development would be indicative of the ocean’s past, current and potential future contribution to medicine and science.
Trends in the development of medicines and other useful compounds from marine biodiversity is an indicator of trends in the harvesting of biodiversity.
Other indicators for this issue:
- BD-23 Some selected nationally significant native terrestrial species subjected to harvesting and population trends
- LD-10 Number of compounds from terrestrial sources at some stage of commercial development
- CO-07 Australian fisheries production - national tonnage and value of retained catch
- CO-16 Status of Australian fisheries
- CO-17 Change in species and trophic structure of fish species caught
- CO-19 Estimated tonnage taken by illegal fishing; estimated number of illegal boats, estimated number of individuals of threatened species taken
- CO-20 Non-target effects: Area of seabeds trawled
- CO-21 Non-target effects: Number and/or weight taken as bycatch, and change since introduction of exclusion devices
- CO-32 Number of injuries to marine animals from marine debris
- CO-62 Estimated number of marine animals harvested by recreational fishers
- CO-63 Estimated number of marine animals harvested by indigenous fishers
- CO-65 Correlation between various human activities and introduction of coastal and marine species
- AAT-19 Annual catch in tonnes of marine species harvested in Australian Antarctic and sub-Antarctic waters - legal and illegal
- AAT-20 Fishing by-catch numbers and/or weight taken as bycatch
A proportion of the food fish consumed in human settlements in Australia derives from aquaculture.
Other indicators for this issue:
- AIMS Biodiversity Collection
- AIMS Marine Bioproducts capabilities
- The Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council - Fourteenth Meeting
Links to another web site
Links to data in the DRS
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