The Earth’s oceans are inherently 3-D in nature. Many physical, environ- mental, and biotic processes vary widely across depths. In recent years, hu- man activities, such as oil drilling, mining, and fishing are rapidly expanding into deeper frontier ocean areas, where much of the biodiversity remains un- known. Most current conservation actions, management decisions and policies of both the pelagic and benthic domains do not explicitly incorporate the 3-D nature of the oceans and are still based on a two-dimensional approach. Here, we review current advances in marine research and conservation, aiming to advance towards incorporating the third dimension in marine systematic con- servation planning. We highlight the importance and potential of vertical con- servation planning and zoning from the sea surface to the seafloor. We propose that undertaking marine conservation, management and environmental deci- sions in 3-D has the potential to revolutionize marine conservation research, practice and legislation
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