CARACAS, Aug 9: Only 13.2 percent of the world’s ocean waters are still in their natural ‘wild’ state and remain unspoiled by human activity, according to a new report.
Kendall Jones, author of the report published in science journal Current Biology said: “We were very surprised by how little is left of marine nature. The ocean is immense and covers more than 70 percent of our planet, but we have managed to significantly affect almost all of this vast ecosystem.”
Researchers from Australia’s Queensland University systematically mapped the effect of 15 different human ‘stressors’ on the ocean using global available data, including commercial shipments, fertilizers and sediment run-offs, demersal fishing and other kinds of pollution.
Mapping all these factors and calculating their accumulative impact showed that only about 55 million square kilometers of ocean have been little affected by human activity with less than 10 percent impact.
The report, entitled ‘The Location and Protection Status of Earth’s Diminishing Marine Wilderness,’ shows that unspoiled ocean zones are “unequally distributed” among the 16 different oceanic regions, located mainly in remote zones of the Pacific Ocean, the Arctic and Antarctica.
A view of Statoil’s Dudgeon offshore wind farm near Great Yarmouth, Britain, November 2017. Photo | Reuters