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A global map of human impact on marine ecosystems


Halpern, BS and Walbridge, S and Selkoe, KA and Kappel, CV and Micheli, F and D'Agrosa, C and Bruno, JF and Casey, KS and Ebert, C and Fox, HE and Fujita, R and Heinemann, D and Lenihan, HS and Madin, EMP and Perry, MT and Selig, ER and Spalding, M and Steneck, R and Watson, RA, A global map of human impact on marine ecosystems, Science, 319, (5865) pp. 948-952. ISSN 0036-8075 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1126/science.1149345


The management and conservation of the world's oceans require synthesis of spatial data on the distribution and intensity of human activities and the overlap of their impacts on marine ecosystems. We developed an ecosystem-specific, multiscale spatial model to synthesize 17 global data sets of anthropogenic drivers of ecological change for 20 marine ecosystems. Our analysis indicates that no area is unaffected by human influence and that a large fraction (41%) is strongly affected by multiple drivers. However, large areas of relatively little human impact remain, particularly near the poles. The analytical process and resulting maps provide flexible tools for regional and global efforts to allocate conservation resources; to implement ecosystem-based management; and to inform marine spatial planning, education, and basic research.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:anthropogenic effect; ecosystem modeling; map; marine ecosystem; spatial distribution; article; ecology; ecosystem; environmental protection; human impact (environment); marine environment; priority journal; research; Animals; Climate; Ecosystem
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Aquaculture and fisheries stock assessment
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Wild caught fin fish (excl. tuna)
UTAS Author:Watson, RA (Professor Reginald Watson)
ID Code:83759
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:4032
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2013-03-21
Last Modified:2015-01-20

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