Ocean Health Index Evaluates State of Waters Around the Globe

An international team of researchers has released a new tool that evaluates the state of the world’s oceans, a so-called Ocean Health Index that its creators say provides the first comprehensive assessment of the relationship

Click to enlarge
Ocean Health Index

Ben Halpern, et al/Nature
The Ocean Health Index
between the planet’s marine regions and human communities. While previous assessments of ocean health were based on the level of “pristineness,” this index is framed in terms of the benefits humans derive from the oceans and the extent to which communities maintain a sustainable marine environment. Using a wide range of criteria — including water quality, marine biodiversity, and the condition of coastal areas — the researchers ranked ocean areas worldwide on a scale from 0 to 100. According to their analysis, published in the journal Nature, the global ocean received an overall score of 60, while scores for individual areas ranged from 36 to 86. The waters around Jarvis Island, near Hawaii, ranked highest; the waters off the West African nation of Sierra Leone ranked lowest.