Ocean Atlas: Understanding the threats to our marine ecosystems — Heinrich Boell Foundation de |Many graphics and PDF Versions | Under a Creative Commons License CC BY 4.0.

Territorially speaking, the high seas belong to no one – and so when it comes to exploitation, they belong to everyone.

MANKIND AND THE SEAS

The ocean covers more than two-thirds of our planet’s surface. It is rich in resources and provides us with food, energy, and minerals. Oceans are important transportation routes and crucial for the stability of our climate and the weather. But due to overfishing, the loss of biodiversity, and ocean pollution, the future of this unique ecosystem faces a grave threat today.

This is where the atlas comes into play. It illustrates the important role played by the ocean and its ecosystems – not only for people living on the coasts but for all of us. It aims to give a current insight of the state and the threat of the seas, that are our livelihoods. Therefore we hope to stimulate a broader social and political discussion about the meaning of the ocean as an important system and the possibilities for protecting it.

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Fish – almost out of stock?

Fish is a cornerstone of global food security. This global dependence on fish is actually the greatest threat to our fish populations. Many are overfished, and the number is rising.

The Microplastic Problem

Beaches littered with plastic garbage, seabirds strangled by bits of plastic – these images are ubiquitous today. Yet we also see photos of people cleaning beaches and hear about plans for purifying the ocean. Are things actually improving?

Ocean Atlas: Understanding the threats to our marine ecosystems

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Without the ocean there would be no life on our planet. But the future of this unique ecosystem faces a grave threat today. The Ocean Atlas 2017 delivers with its 18 contributions and 50 graphics the relevant facts and figures about the ocean.

RESOURCES, FISH POPULATION AND ENERGY: HOW WE ARE EXPLOITING THE SEAS

World Trade and Price Wars

Coffee, bananas, smartphones, automobiles: cargo ships transport goods around the world. 90 percent of global trade is seaborne. Who does what – and who pays for it all?

Global Hunger For Natural Resources

Unseen treasures with mysterious names beckon from the depths of the ocean: manganese nodules, cobalt crusts, black smokers. Hidden within them are rich concentrations of valuable metals.

Energy From the Ocean: Where Does the Future Lie?

Countries are turning their attention to the ocean in order to ensure that future demands for energy and raw materials can be met. Which direction will they take? What are the opportunities and risks? An overview.

The global demand for raw materials continues rising. What could be better than dipping into the treasure chest of the deep sea? Ecologists warn that anything that is destroyed there will not regenerate for a long time, if at all. But a number of countries and industrial companies are already chomping at the bit, eager to secure what they see as their piece of the cake.

Aquaculture: Are Fish Farms the Future?

Aquaculture is booming – in 2014 nearly every second fish consumed by people came from a fish farm. The ecological and social problems caused by this aquatic stockbreeding are immense.

Downloads of the Ocean Atlas

All graphs of the Ocean Atlas are published under a Creative Commons License CC BY 4.0. and can be continued to be used, processed and published under these conditions. You can find all downloads available in various formats (jpg, png, pdf) here.

Many EXPERTS contributed their expertise to the Ocean Atlas, particularly scientists working together at the University of Kiel’s Future Ocean Cluster of Excellence to research the development of our oceans.

Here’s the who is who >>

THE OCEAN – A FRAGILE ECOSYSTEM

Biodiversity: The Danger of Declining Diversity

How the Ocean Slows Climate Change

A Look Into the Past: Exploitation and Protected Areas

The plants and animals that currently live in the “wilderness” of the ocean or in marine protected areas are just a fraction of what once thrived in the seas. To understand what we’ve lost and what we might be able to recover, we need to know what used to be.

CLIMATE CHANGE: RISING SEA LEVELS AND TEMPERATURES

Acidification: A Corrosive Future

Our oceans are becoming more and more acidic. Though barely detectable to humans, for many of the animals that live there, the change is already proving fatal.

Warming Waters and Rising Risks

The ocean is far, far away from Springdale, Arkansas. And yet the city is feeling the effects of the rising sea level. Seeking safety, 10,000 inhabitants of the Marshall Islands have made the city their new home.

Coasts: Life in the Danger Zone

Flooding, erosion, sinking: our coasts are under ever-increasing pressure. People who live in coastal regions are especially endangered – and there are an ever-increasing number of them.

Fertilizer for the Dead Zones

Each summer, a 20,000-square-kilometer dead zone forms in the Gulf of Mexico. The cause of the lifeless water lies not in the gulf itself but on dry land, 2,000 kilometers upriver.

Booming cruise tourism: while the number of visitors increases rapidly, the number of desired destinations does not. In 1980, 1.4 million people went on cruises; in 2016 it was already 24 million passengers.

Trash in the Surf, Poison in the Sea

Destination: Ocean

Cruise ships carrying 4,000 travelers, all-inclusive beachfront resorts – increasing global tourism places an ever-greater strain on the ocean and coastal populations.

OCEAN GOVERNANCE: TOWARDS PROTECTING A COMMON GOOD

Ocean Governance: Who Owns the Ocean?

For thousands of years people have taken to the sea to fish and trade. Wars have been fought as rival rulers claimed the rights to the sea and its exploitation. Those conflicts have continued to this day.

International protective agreements and treaties like the Agenda 2030 ratified by the UN will only achieve long-term success if they receive broad support from society.

The World Must Act Together: Towards A New Governance of the Ocean

The Ocean Atlas: All Infographics at a Glance

  • Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll FoundationGraph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Production of fish, mollusks, crustaceans and other aquatic animals in thousands of metric tons Inland aquaculture in millions of metric tons Marine and coastal aquaculture in millions of metric tons Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Share of Mediterranean tourism vs. global tourism in % Top 8 most popular destinations Tourist arrivals in millions Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • The ocean absorbs the lion’s share of the additional warmth resulting from human CO2 emissions, which supplements the natural greenhouse effect. Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Water depth in relation to wave heights and speed of tsunamis Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Plastic waste with poor waste management* Share that ends up in the ocean, low estimate* Share that ends up in the ocean, high estimate* Global plastic production in millions of tons, 2013 Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Total volume of fleets (high seas and coastal fisheries) in gross tanker tonnage Sum of subventions* Value of fish caught* Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Current Emission Control Areas (ECA) Possible future Emission Control Areas (ECA) Important port cities Main shipping routes Planned shipping routes Percentage of ship emissions vs. total global emissions Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Number of invasive species in relation to Main trade routes (> 500 ship journeys per year) Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Causes, effects and trends of nitrates, phosphates, plastic waste, chemicals, heavy metals, oil pollution, radioactivity, noise, munitions in the ocean Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Surface currents Plastic garbage patches in the subtropical gyres Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Average pH value of seawater in 1870 and 2100 (estimated) ph value of various substances (Hydrochloric acid, Cola, Sopa, Laundry detergent, and more) Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Wind, tidal and wave power in 1,000 kW Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • World map: Dead zones, zones in alarming condition, recovering areas and natural O2 minimum zones Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • RESERVES (in millions of metric tons) of Thallium (Tl), Cobalt (Co), Manganese (Mn), Rare earth oxides and Nickel (Ni) On land In the sea (sum of estimated metal reserves in the Prime Crust Zone [PCZ] and the Clarion-Clipperton Zone [CCZ]) Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Megacities in coastal regions (pop. > 8 m.) in 2025 Threatened by tropical cyclones (hurricanes, typhoons, cyclonic storms) Low-lying areas Endangered river deltas Threatened by tsunamis Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Legal and geographic zoning Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Most popular cruise destinations (percentage) Origin of passengers Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Selected examples from the 49 marine UNESCO World Heritage Sites Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Increase of maritime passengers from 1980-2016 Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Rise of pH values over time change of the pH value of the ocean surface Beaufort Sea, Ross Sea, Canary Current, Humboldt Current, California Current, Benguela Current Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • The Gulf of California for an old sherman (1940s) The Gulf of California for a middle-aged sherman (1970s) The Gulf of California for a young sherman (1990s) Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Top six fleet owners by nationality – Total carrying capacity (deadweight tonnage, dwt) of the ships in metric tons Top six flags of registration – Total carrying capacity (deadweight tonnage, dwt) of the ships in metric tons Top five shipbuilding countries – Total volume of ships in thousands of gross tonnage Top seven shipbreaking countries – Total volume of ships in thousands of gross tonnage Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Capture fisheries and aquaculture in kg per capita Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Annapolis Average local sea level rise in inch Days with flooding Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • A poor waste management/recycling system (or none at all) is the leading cause. Plastic garbage from cities and industrial centers ows directly into rivers and seas with untreated wastewater. Microplastic used as additives in cosmetic products is not ltered out by water treatment plants. Fishing nets and lines lost or intentionally abandoned at sea. Lost loads and ship materials. Garbage illegally dumped at sea. Catastrophic waste: wreckage and garbage swept out to sea by hurricanes, oods, and tsunamis. Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Oxygen-rich water, oxygen-defficient water, oxygen-free water occurence in relation to ocean depth and its distance to the coast Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Sea surface temperature trends 1900–2008 Sea surface warming, 100-year trend Sea surface warming °C/100 years Sea level rise in mm per year Changes in global sea level, 100-year trend Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • RESERVES: Cobalt crusts, Manganese nodules, Black smokers (massive sul des) RESERVES WITH EXPLORATORY LICENSES: Cobalt crusts, Manganese nodules, Black smokers (massive sul des) THE CLARION-CLIPPERTON ZONE Borders of continental shelves Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Percentage of ocean surface area protected Strongly protected (No-take-zone), Partial No-take-zone, Weakly protected, protection not yet implemented Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Chart illustrating global marine stock from 1974 to 2013 ovefished, fully and under fished Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Fish consumption per capita in kg/year Marine capture per FAO region in 1,000 metric tons Marine capture of the top 10 countries with fisheries on the high seas in 1,000 metric tons Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Approved offshore power plants Approved tidal power plants Approved wave power plants Known methane hydrate reserves Known deepwater oil reserves (below 400 m) Known deepwater natural gas reserves (below 400 m) Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Concentration of human CO2 in the water column in mol/m2 Surface currents (warm); Deep ocean currents (cold); Bottom currents; Deepwater formation zones Areas: Gulf Stream, North Atlantic Current, Benguela Current, Agulhas Current, Humboldt Current, California Current, Antarctic Circumpolar Current Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Expansion of whaling in the Bay of Biscay (ca. 1000 A.D.), Northeast Atlantic (ca. 1300), Northwest Atlantic (ca. 1530), Southern Hemisphere (ca. 1700), North Pacific (ca. 1840) Expansion of sea cucumber fishing in Korea (1648), Japan (1698), Southwest Pacific (1800–1881), Madagascar (1920), Northeast Pacific (1982–1988), Northwest Atlantic (1994 and 2000) Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Graph showing the expansion of coastal countries’ exclusive economic zones (dark green) into the area of the outer continental shelf (orange) Detailed infomration for Bouvet Island and Heard Island and McDonald Islands Borders of tectonic plates Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Causes and threats for megacities in coastal regions Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Sea turtles Sharks Predatory fish (tuna, sailfish, swordfish) Reef fish * Based on historical sources. Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Quantity of nitrates flushed into the ocean by the Mississippi River Total nitrate fertilization for arable crops (kg/km2 and year) Number of pigs (in 2012) Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Shares of CO2 distribution in the atmosphere, biosphere and ocean Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Effects of acidification on various species like: mollusks (mussels, snails, cephalopods); corals (tropical and cold-water corals); echinoderms (eea urchins, sea cucumbers, sea stars); crustaceans (shrimp, lobsters, copepods); finfish (herring, tuna, cod) Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Graph: Ocean Atlas 2017, Petra Böckmann/Heinrich Böll Foundation 
  • Ocean Atlas 2017 Cover

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Twelve Brief Lessons About the Ocean and the World

Creative Commons License LogoThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.

Source:Heinrich Boell Foundation

IMPRINT The OCEAN ATLAS 2017 is jointly published by the Heinrich Böll Foundation Schleswig-Holstein, the Heinrich Böll Foundation (national foundation), and the University of Kiel’s Future Ocean Cluster of Excellence.

Chief executive editor: Ulrich Bähr, Heinrich Böll Foundation Schleswig-Holstein Scientific advisors: Dr. Ulrike Kronfeld-Goharani, University of Kiel, Future Ocean Cluster of Excellence Peter Wiebe, Heinrich Böll Foundation Schleswig-Holstein Design coordinator: Natascha Pösel Project management: Ulrich Bähr, Heinrich Böll Foundation Schleswig-Holstein Annette Maennel, Heinrich Böll Foundation (national foundation) Text: Natascha Pösel, Ulrich Bähr, and Dr. Ulrike Kronfeld-Goharani Translation: Kevin Brochet-Nguyen Proofreader: Rachel Sampson Art direction, illustration and production: Petra Böckmann Documentation: Alina Dallmann and Lara Behling

The opinions expressed in this volume do not necessarily reflect the views of all the partner organizations. Editorial responsibility: Heino Schomaker, Heinrich Böll Foundation Schleswig-Holstein 1st edition, May 2017 Production manager: Elke Paul, Heinrich Böll Foundation (national foundation) Printed by Bonifatius GmbH Druck – Buch – Verlag, Paderborn Climate-neutral printing on 100 percent recycled paper. This work is available under the Creative Commons “Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)” license.

The text of the license is available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/de/legalcode. A summary (not a substitute) is available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.de. ORDER AND DOWNLOAD ADDRESSES Heinrich Böll Foundation Schleswig-Holstein, Heiligendammer Str. 15, 24106 Kiel, Germany, http://www.meeresatlas.org Heinrich Böll Foundation (national foundation), Schumannstraße 8, 10117 Berlin, Germany, http://www.boell.de/meeresatlas University of Kiel Future Ocean Cluster of Excellence, Olshausenstr. 40, 24098 Kiel, Germany, http://www.futureocean.org

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