The marine system is arguably more complex than any other ecosystem with highly interrelated processes between its physical, chemical and biological components. Its study and management requires information on all aspects and an understanding of the structure and function of the systems. In addition, the increasing amount of national, supra-national and global legislation and agreements is producing the need to develop tools for the sustainable use of the marine environment, in particular management for conservation and biodiversity in order to protect habitat integrity. The paradox here is that the scientific community is mostly working on very detailed and more narrow aspects whereas the managers require a holistic and ecosystemic approach, not necessarily at a very high level of detail. It is suggested that, despite such a requirement, there are fewer and fewer scientists willing (and able) to take a broader, cross-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary approach to tackling the problems created by human activities.