87% Of Oceans Significantly Impacted By Humans, Says Study

Experts warn of 'irreversible outcomes' on the horizon
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Human Impact on Oceans

According to the study, zero percent of the ocean remains undamaged by humans

A new
investigation led by experts in marine wildlife has determined only 13.2
percent of the ocean has not been significantly impacted by human
activity.

The report classified only the relatively untouched portion as 'marine wilderness' - technically defined as 'biologically and ecologically intact seascapes that are mostly free of human disturbance'.

Impact

The
Wildlife Conservation Society's Kendall Jones, who led the study, said:
"The
ocean is immense, covering over 70% of our planet, but we've managed to
significantly impact almost all of this vast ecosystem."

Fishing, shipping pollution, climate change, and runoff are cited as the primary causes of the destruction - which has left none of the world's oceans entirely untouched.

Environmental Degradation and The Ocean

Coastal areas are among the most impacted

Threat

According to the report, of the marine wilderness which remains, only 4.9 percent is
protected - which is not enough to prevent the continued degradation of our oceans, according to experts.

Jones said: "In future, as climate change gets worse, I think you can definitely say pretty
much everywhere in the ocean is going to come under increasing level of
threat."

'Irreversible'

Given the
findings, the team of researchers has prescribed urgent, proactive conservation
efforts on a global level.

The study reads: "Wilderness
loss is a globally significant problem with largely irreversible outcomes: once
lost, the many environmental values of wilderness are very unlikely to be
restored."