The report 30 × 30: Roadmap for Oceans Protection is the culmination of a year of collaboration between scientists from Greenpeace as well as York and Oxford universities [1]. To carry out this study, one of the largest of its kind ever conducted, researchers divided the high seas (which cover almost half of the Earth’s surface) into 25,000 “squares” of 100 km each, then mapped the distribution of 458 conservation criteria (species, habitats, oceanographic features, etc.), generating hundreds of possible scenarios for the creation of a global network of marine reserves, in which destructive human activities would be prohibited.

UN negotiations are currently taking place which aim to establish a global treaty for the protection of the “high seas”, or international waters, which extend beyond the jurisdictions of coastal countries and cover 230 million km2. This study examines what the protection of 30-50% of the oceans would mean in practice – two options are evaluated against conservation objectives. This interactive map explores various protection scenarios, as well as wildlife hot spots and threats to the ocean.

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Download the executive summary

[1] 30×30: A Blueprint for Ocean Protection builds on a scientific study by a team of experts which was led by Professor Callum Roberts to design a marine protected area network for the high seas. We acknowledge the sharing of data from Atlas of Marine Protection, Global Fishing Watch, Birdlife International and L. Watling, and thank K. Boerder for her assistance with accessing and interpreting data. We would also like to thank all the sources who made their data freely available. The study was financially supported by the ‘Umweltstiftung Greenpeace’ (Environment Foundation Greenpeace), Germany, which promotes the protection of the environment and nature, as well as peace research. It supports Greenpeace campaigns and other conservation projects all over the world.