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Global Ocean Map

February 15, 2008

A new global map of human threats to the oceans reveals that few waters remain untouched.

To use the interactive map visit:


A global ocean impact map. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

According to a new map, the human impact on the world’s oceans is more extensive than previously believed. A large research team created the map by assessing the impact of 17 separate threats to the oceans, from overfishing to pollution, at locations around the globe. Marine ecologist Ben Halpern of University of California at Santa Barbara led the initiative.

BEN HALPERN (University of California, Santa Barbara):
What we found which is quite surprising to us is that over 40% of the ocean is being heavily impacted by humans, that not a single square kilometer of the ocean is unaffected by humans and there’s probably no place that’s truly pristine anymore.

But he says the global map will help improve ocean management in the future. For a link to the interactive map, visit I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the science society.