Oceans under threat due to human activities: Study

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Washington, Feb 17 (UNI) Indian Ocean along with other oceans of the world is reeling under the impact of human actvities, an intenational study, which mapped the severity of the problem from pole to pole, shows.

The study has given a detailed account on how humans are reshaping the seas through overfishing, air and water pollution, commercial shipping and other activities.

''For the first time we can see where some of the most threatened marine ecosystems are and what might be degrading them,'' researcher Elizabeth Selig at the University of North Carolina said.

The team analysed factors that included warming ocean temperatures because of greenhouse gas emissions, nutrient runoff and fishing. They found that the areas under the most stress are the North and Norwegian seas, South and East China seas, Eastern Caribbean, North American eastern seaboard, Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, Bering Sea, and the waters around Sri Lanka.

Some marine ecosystems are under acute pressure, the scientists concluded, including sea mounts, mangrove swamps, sea grass and coral reefs. Almost half of all coral reefs, ''experience medium high to very high impact'' from humans.

Overall, rising ocean temperatures represent the biggest threat to marine ecosystems.

''This information enables us to tailor strategies and set priorities for ecosystem management. And it shows that while local efforts are important, we also need to be thinking about global solutions, '' the Washington Post quoted Dr Selig as saying.

The findings of the report are published in the journal science.

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