An external voice

Towards healthier oceans

The Ocean Health Index is an integrated scientific framework that combines key elements from all dimensions of ocean health: biological, physical, economic and social.

How inappropriate to call this planet “Earth”, when it is quite clearly “Ocean.”
– Arthur C. Clarke

The Ocean Health Index was founded in 2010 as a coalition of 65 scientists and 23 institutions with the aim of becoming a global reference for the health and productivity of the world’s oceans. It provides a transparent framework that will allow informed and consistent decisions. By communicating the state of the world’s oceans, from all dimensions of the ocean’s health, the Index builds awareness and catalyses decision makers to develop and implement more effective policies. This promotes improved ocean health and sustainable business development on both regional and global scale.

Stena has supported the work of the organization since 2012, when the first report was published. With Stena’s backing, the Ocean Health Index has advanced to producing targeted regional assessments in addition to continuing with its historic work at the global scale.

Stena is the first ship-owning company to support the Ocean Health Index from its launch, and this is really important, because we need corporate leaders who appreciate how critical it is that the world has a global and data-based measurement tool to set priorities for policy and practices at both regional and global scales.

By allowing for the combination of different types of old and new data across the identified key areas, the Index measures how well a country, a region and even the world as a whole is managing for ocean health. Over 120 databases across the world are used to employ the most up-to-date information. Since its foundation, several regional assessments of coastal oceans (from shoreline to 200 nautical miles offshore) have been made. In 2014, the first truly global assessment, which included Antarctica, the Southern Ocean, and other international waters, resulted in a weighted score of 67 out of a maximum of 100.

The 2014 global score of 67 indicates that there is need for improvement and identifies global priorities. The Ocean Health Index has been adopted or endorsed by a number of international bodies, such as the World Economic Forum, and highlighted as a major knowledge resource by the UN World Ocean Assessment, through which these priorities will be put forward.

Peter Seligmann

Founder of the Ocean Health Index

Provided by the world’s oceans and assessed by the Ocean Health Index

  1. Food Provision
  2. Artisanal Fishing Opportunities
  3. Natural Products
  4. Carbon Storage
  5. Coastal Protection
  6. Sense of Place
  7. Coastal Livelihoods & Economies
  8. Tourism & Recreation
  9. Clean Waters
  10. Biodiversity

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