Monday, January 12, 2009

Ocean Health Data - Just a click Away

Check this out! An interactive mapping website has just been launched showing the cumulative impact of human activities on marine ecosystems around the world.

The tool allows you to view maps of cumulative human impacts on oceans anywhere in the world. You can also produce a summary report that includes explanations for the impact scores. Just zoom in on an area of ocean you are curious about and then with a quick left-click a detailed data summary popup will appear.

For example, when I zoom in and click on the area around the Vancouver harbour the pop up says the ocean based pollution index is .490 (the maximum is 1.00). Clicking on the area between the north island and the Queen Charlottes, the pollution index is .197.

Other indicators include: Organic pollution, Sea temperature increase, Demersal (the area just off the ocean bed) destructive fishing, UV radiation Nutrient runoff, Pelagic (any water in the ocean that is not near the bottom) high-bycatch fishing, Demersal non-destructive high-bycatch fishing, Ocean acidification, Pelagic low-bycatch fishing, Direct human impact (population pressure), Oil rigs.

You also get a summary of human activities. For the Vancouver harbor area:
· High levels of human activity related to Ocean acidification and UV radiation.
· Moderate levels of human activity related to Ocean-based pollution and Sea temperature increase.
· Low levels of human activity related to Demersal non-destructive low-bycatch fishing, Demersal non-destructive high-bycatch fishing, Artisanal fishing, Organic pollution, Inorganic pollution, Pelagic low-bycatch fishing, Demersal destructive fishing, Commercial shipping and Nutrient runoff.
· No human activity related to Oil rigs, Direct human impact (population pressure), Pelagic high-bycatch fishing and Invasive species.

This is one of those web sites you’ll want to play around with for a while and then bookmark for future reference.


  1. This is *totally* cool!! I like that it attempts to address a lot of major ocean conservation issues in the roundup at the bottom too. Like invasive species. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Tks for that post! It's a good way for people to see the impact we are having on the ocean.