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The Index measures the global state of the world’s oceans. An Index score for 220 countries & territories, the Antarctic region, and 15 sections of the high seas, is calculated using existing global data. Click on map colored regions to see short summaries of scores by country.

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The results are shown on the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of each coastal country, an area that extends 200 nautical miles (370 KM) offshore from the country’s coast. For countries with multiple and separate coastlines, EEZs were grouped based on country, latitude, habitation, and ocean basin.

When a goal is not relevant to a specific region, no value (N/A) is shown and that goal is not included in calculation of the region's overall Index score.


Figure 1. Statistical areas used by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Nineteen (19) of the areas contain marine waters and all but one of them, Number 37, the Mediterranean Sea, contain High Seas areas. The Ocean Health Index analyzes areas 58, 88 and 48 with its Antarctic area and the other 15 areas as its High Seas area.

Areas Assessed: Portions of all oceans make up the High Seas. The analyses used to create the High Seas Ocean Health Index used the subdivisions created by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 24 of which contain marine waters. Statistical area 37, the Mediterranean Sea, was not analyzed because EEZs of its bordering countries cover its entire area, so it has no High Seas component. Three statistical areas, numbers 58, 88 and 48 were analyzed separately as part of the Antarctic analysis. International waters of the remaining 15 statistical areas were analyzed.

Goals Assessed: The Index assesses the health of the High Seas across three goals: Food Provision, Sense of Place and Biodiversity. Other benefits evaluated by the global Ocean Health Index, such as Mariculture, Natural (Non-Food) Products, Opportunities for Artisanal Fishing and Coastal Protection don’t occur there and therefore can’t be evaluated. Two other goals, Tourism & Recreation, and Livelihoods & Economies occur on the High Seas when cruise ships or merchant ships transit those waters, but their benefits accrue where the trips originate and visit, so they are not evaluated for the open ocean itself, but are accounted for in the coastal countries or territories where those activities originate or take place. The High Seas provide other important general benefits, such as climate regulation and oxygen production by plant plankton that the Index does not assess.