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'.
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.
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."
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."
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Emily Court is a passionate ethical vegan from Eastern Canada. She is a Challenge 22 Mentor, Digital Writer, and experienced animal advocate driven by issues of animal liberation and social justice. She studied at Dalhousie University, where her thesis highlighted intercultural and gender relations. She is an established public speaker, writer, and world traveller with a drive to provide a voice to those who might not otherwise have one. You can follow her on Instagram @emily.j.court or on Twitter @_EmilyJCourt_.
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