New Ocean Health Index Measures the Global State of the Seas
U.S. scores 63 out of a possible 100, study says.
To make the index, marine scientists from a range of conservation, academic, and government institutions developed a scoring system to assess the health of the oceans, with an eye to the benefits that the seas provide to people. (Learn more about how to protect the ocean.)
Researchers evaluated ecological, social, economic, and political factors for every coastal country in the world, and then crunched the data through a computer model to get a score for each.
The world average was 60, and individual countries and territories ranged from a low of 36—Sierra Leone—to a high of 86, Jarvis Island (map), a U.S. territory in the Pacific.
(See National Geographic's sustainable seafood guide.)
A goal of the index is to help