Only 13% of the oceans are untouched

barche oceano

Human activities in the world’s seas increasingly threaten biodiversity and the marine environment. In particular, coastal areas are the most affected by man.

This is what emerges from a study published in Current Biology, which says that only 13.2% of the seas are untouched and that of this very small part of the sea, only the even more limited areas (4.9% of that 13.2%) is in marine protected areas.

What are these uncontaminated sea areas for?
Not having yet suffered the effects of human activities, these areas have a high biodiversity, that is, many different species, and high levels of ecological and evolutionary connectivity. They are also well positioned to withstand climate change and its effects.

If we see the mainland, unspoiled natural areas have rapidly decreased and this has led to a large mobilization to defend these areas. This is because what is happening on earth is more easily documented and visible. On the contrary, natural marine areas are most of the time on the high seas and therefore difficult to observe.

In the world human influence differs from one oceanic region to another and the extent of natural areas varies considerably. It should not be forgotten, however, that of these unspoilt areas only 4.9% are marine protected areas and very few are found in biodiverse ecosystems such as coral reefs. The defence of marine natural areas should now be incorporated into comprehensive strategies to conserve biodiversity and ensure that large-scale ecological and evolutionary processes continue.


“Time to take action” is the slogan of Medplastic, the project of Giornale della Vela and Barche a Motore for the preservation of the Mediterranean. Join the MedPlastic Team Facebook group, where you can post news, projects, photo reports, videos. Then take part in the Instagram NO Plastic contest (by sending a photo to our inbox instagram – @giornaledellavela – or to the Medplastic Team group, as all the authors of the photos we show you here have done): we will reward the best testimonials at the VELAFestival 2019. In addition, if you have structured projects to propose that you think may be useful to the “cause”, send an email to



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