We have damaged 96% of our world’s oceans

See all the orange on this world map? That represents all the damage we have done to our planet’s oceans as a result of fishing, pollution, and activities that are cause for climate change. This is the first time such a map has been drawn out to document the overall impact of human activity and what I see here is shocking and depressing.

Only about 4% of our oceans (near the poles) are relatively untarnished, but marine eco-systems are significantly damaged everywhere else, of which 40% face serious environmental degradation.

The BBC has put together a video that shows the same along with an explanation from Ben Halpern — one of the marine ecologists who helped put this map together.

On a positive note, identifying the problem on a global scale and understanding its seriousness means we are in a better position to work towards fixing things, perhaps with a higher level of consciousness.

When I read information like this, I always feel a lump in my throat because on a personal level I don’t do anything that contributes to helping the situation. Honestly, in this case I don’t even know if I can. I could spend time researching and figuring it out for myself, but I don’t see that happening. Laziness, helplessness, no-time, call it what you will.

Just like is often done for the global-warming issue, the media needs to keep flashing us pointers on how, on an individual level, we can help the situation without having to dedicate all our free time to the cause. Even if a small percentage of people heed the pointers given, in addition to focused efforts by eco-experts, it would help the problem, no?