Menu

Just 13 Percent of Ocean Is Wilderness: Study

An analysis of 15 types of stressors finds humans are heavily affecting most sea areas.

Jul 26, 2018
Shawna Williams

ABOVE: ISTOCK, NICK1803

Human-induced stressors such as fishing, agricultural runoff, commercial shipping, and invasive species affect most areas of the ocean, a study published today (July 26) in Current Biology finds. Its authors report that the mere 13 percent of ocean regions that constitute “marine wilderness” are largely located near the poles and in remote regions of the Pacific, and that less than 5 percent of the wilderness areas fall within protected zones.

“Studies have shown that places free from intense levels of human activity have really high levels of biodiversity and high genetic diversity [but] we didn’t have an idea of where across the globe these intact places could still be found,” study author Kendall Jones of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Queensland in Australia tells BBC News.

To identify those places, the authors analyzed data from several sources to find out how different areas of the ocean are affected by different anthropogenic stressors. They defined wilderness as those regions that fell to the bottom 10 percent for experiencing the analyzed stressors both individually and cumulatively. 

In an opinion piece published today in Scientific American, Jones and coauthor James Watson, also of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Queensland, call for policies that would protect more wilderness areas.

Rachel Hale of the University of Southampton in the UK tells the BBC, “Formal protection of these wilderness areas would not be able to protect them from some stressors such as climate change and invasive species. . . . We should prioritise conservation actions in at-risk and/or biologically important areas, and identifying these areas within the identified marine wilderness areas would be a positive next step.”

January 2019

Cannabis on Board

Research suggests ill effects of cannabinoids in the womb

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

FORMULATRIX® digital PCR technology to be acquired by QIAGEN
FORMULATRIX® digital PCR technology to be acquired by QIAGEN
FORMULATRIX has announced that their digital PCR assets, including the CONSTELLATION® series of instruments, is being acquired by QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN, Frankfurt Stock Exchange: QIA) for up to $260 million ($125 million upfront payment and $135 million of milestones).  QIAGEN has announced plans for a global launch in 2020 of a new series of digital PCR platforms that utilize the advanced dPCR technology developed by FORMULATRIX combined with QIAGEN’s expertise in assay development and automation.
Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice
Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice
With this application note from Taconic, learn about the power that the CRISPR/Cas system has to revolutionize the field of custom mouse model generation!
Translational Models of Obesity, Dysmetabolism, Diabetes, and Complications
Translational Models of Obesity, Dysmetabolism, Diabetes, and Complications
This webinar, from Crown Bioscience, presents a unique continuum of translational dysmetabolic platforms that more closely mimic human disease. Learn about using next-generation rodent and spontaneously diabetic non-human primate models to accurately model human-relevant disease progression and complications related to obesity and diabetes here!
BiochemAR: an augmented reality app for easy visualization of virtual 3D molecular models
BiochemAR: an augmented reality app for easy visualization of virtual 3D molecular models
Have you played Pokemon Go? Then you've used Augmented Reality (AR) technology! AR technology holds substantial promise and potential for providing a low-cost, easy to use digital platform for the manipulation of virtual 3D objects, including 3D models of biological macromolecules.