Human health depends on thriving oceans

By Aaron Jenkins & Alana Lancaster et al.

“Healthy oceans, from coastal waters to remote high seas and deep seabed areas, are integral to human health, wellbeing, and survival. Covering over 71% of the Earth’s surface, the oceans serve as an essential carbon sink.¬†Oceans also regulate climate-associated human health risks between land and sea, ranging from direct injuries and deaths associated with extreme weather events, to negative effects on food and nutrition security, and even chronic diseases (eg, cancer) from ocean pollution.¬†Furthermore, oceans are a source of joy, recreation, spiritual and mental wellbeing, healing, and entertainment, enriching human lives beyond their basic needs. Although more is known about areas that are near the coast, it is clear that the deep sea (ie, the seabed beyond national jurisdiction) and the high seas (ie, the parts of oceans beyond national jurisdiction), comprising 64% of the surface of the ocean and nearly 95% of its volume, are equally important for human health and are increasingly affected by global environmental changes…”

Main photo: Casey Pratt