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South Coast Scientist Finds Only Small Percentage Of Ocean Is Relatively Untouched

Photo by BELLE CO

Research from a South Coast university finds that only a small percentage of the ocean is left relatively untouched.

UC Santa Barbara Marine Biology professor Ben Halpern was among scientists involved in an international study on just how much ocean can be classified as wilderness -- meaning that it has hardly been touched by human activity and remains pristine. The answer is only 13%.

“Just under 30 million square miles of ocean -- which sounds like a lot but the ocean is huge. And most of that wilderness area was in the high seas – like outside of the boundaries of countries’ jurisdiction on Antarctic and Artic areas, the Poles,” Halpern says.

He says this highlights the need for international conservation policies to preserve marine wilderness.

“It’s a daunting task, but I think we still have a window of opportunity to make a big difference,” Halpern says.