Photograph by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic Creative
By Brian Clark Howard
Scientists assigned a grade for global ocean health on Tuesday, giving the world’s waters a “D” on an annual oceans report card, citing overfishing, pollution, climate change, and lack of protections as key problems.
The latest report card is part of the third annual update to the Ocean Health Index, which evaluates the state of the seas and the benefits they provide to people.
“This new assessment is the first fully global look at ocean health,” said Kevin Connor, a spokesperson for Conservation International, an environmental group that prepared the index with help from researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of British Columbia; the New England Aquarium; and others.
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