Why Our Oceans Need Wilderness – Places Free Of Mankind’s Impact

Source: Smithsonian/Jason Daley

Photo: Jeremy Bishop/Unsplash

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Anyone who’s ventured beyond the sight of land or looked down from a jetliner could easily imagine most of the vast ocean as a wilderness, a place that human influence could barely reach, even if we tried. But that is definitely not the case. The impact of human activity on the ocean is pervasive, deep and on the rise. Industrial fishing has reduced fish stocks in coastal waters and in every corner of the high seas; shipping lanes wrap around the globe; agricultural runoff and industrial pollution are impacting coral reefs and creating dead zones; drilling rigs dot coastal shelves; and microplastics are everywhere. A new industry of seafloor mining will likely begin in the near future. And that’s not to mention the impacts of climate change, which are rearranging marine habitats and acidifying the oceans.

But it turns out, there are still some spots left in the ocean that have seen minimal human interference, areas that might be dubbed “wilderness.”

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Photo: Jeremy Bishop/Unsplash

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