Rated: Health of the world's oceans

2012-08-20 09:17
A new system that judges the healthiness of the world's oceans has been created and the results have now been released, Wanderlust reports.

The Ocean Health Index was devised by 30 scientists accounting for 10 different measurements chosen to reflect both the needs of humans and ecosystem sustainability. These include food provision, carbon storage, tourism value and biodiversity. The results are aggregated into a single score out of 100.

The highest score was assigned to the waters surrounding Jarvis, an uninhabited Pacific island. The island's size is a mere 4,5 square kilometers and it's a protected territory of the United States. Situated near Hawaii, its waters are almost untouched and this has help produce its score of 86 out of 100.

The global average is 60.

Contrary to this, the West African coastline has been deemed the least healthy, with 10 of its 11 ocean areas scoring well below 60. Sierra Leone scored particularly poorly at only 36, just below Liberia, Ivory Coast, and the DRC.

The oceans surrounding South Africa have been given a score of 52, while Namibia boasts a score of 61. A map on the Ocean Health Index website provides a clear illustration of they study and in-depth information on each of the ocean areas.

"Many West African, Middle Eastern and central American countries score poorly compared to rich European countries," says the report, published in science journal, Nature.

This is attributed to their ability to fund marine protection systems and police their resources more efficiently than developing countries. Germany, for example, was ranked 7th with a score of 73; the US scored 63 (29th), and the UK, 62 (40th place).

Only 10 countries managed to score more than 70, which represents only 5% of areas surveyed. 50 countries, almost one-third of the list, scored under 50.

This is the first time a comprehensive ocean health index has been compiled. The index compares all the worlds coastal countries and bases their score on how the surrounding seas benefit man and nature.

Read more on:    travel international

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