David Hastings Eckerd

Retired college professor Dr. David Hastings presents an alarming insight into the devastating impact of humans on the ocean environment.

A direct result of pollution, overfishing, and ocean acidification, among other causes, only 13 percent of the planet’s oceans are now believed to be pristine, unaffected by the harm caused by industrial activities, human activities, and increased greenhouse gases which cause global warming. That’s according to marine geochemist, chemical oceanographer, and retired college professor Dr. David Hastings as he offers a closer look at the ongoing damage occurring to the world’s precious ocean environments.

“In a 2018 study, researchers reported that almost all of the planet’s oceans had been negatively affected to some degree by human impact,” reveals retired college professor and environmental advocate Dr. David Hastings, referring to a study undertaken by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission – the first systematic, planet-wide analysis of the ocean environment ever to be carried out on such a scale.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization study, first published just over two years ago, found that only 13 percent of the world’s oceans—largely in the remote Pacific and at the poles—remained untouched by what the specialized UN agency called at the time, ‘damaging impacts of humanity,’ Dr. David Hastings reports.

More worrying still, Dr. David Hastings goes on to point out, is that indicators show that the situation continues to deteriorate since the publication of the report. About two and a half years later, it is believed that the figure is now closer to 10 percent, as far as untouched portions of the world’s crucial ocean environments are concerned, could now be closer to just 10 percent, according to the retired college professor.

An alarming reflection of the devastating damage caused by colossal fishing fleets, pollution from land, air, and elsewhere, global shipping, climate change, and more, these and countless other aspects of human impact mean that the planet’s precious seas have never been in more grave danger, says Dr. David Hastings. “So little untouched wilderness remains in our oceans that, if we don’t act now, we risk losing entire swathes of the vibrant life which calls this vast ecosystem home,” Dr. Hastings reveals.

Keen to share a number of further worrying statistics surrounding human impact on the world’s oceans, Dr. David Hastings also goes on to reveal that so-called dead zones in the planet’s seas have quadrupled since 1950. “Half of the world’s oceans are now industrially fished, too,” adds the expert. Never before in human history have our seas been so under threat, says retired college professor Dr. Hastings.

“We must fight, for nature’s sake, to stop further damage, and work to repair the harm that’s been done already,” adds the conservationist and marine geochemist. “If we’re to ensure the future of our oceans and the ecological processes that take place across our seascapes—something that’s central to how our climate and, indeed, our entire planet functions—we must act now,” he goes on, “or risk witnessing the inevitable knock-on effects which will likely be drastic and bring with them all manner of other dire consequences.”

Conservationist Dr. David Hastings is a marine geochemist, chemical oceanographer, and retired college professor. Outside of his conservation efforts and his work within marine science, Dr. David Hastings enjoys singing, hiking, swimming, canoeing, and kayaking. He currently resides in Gainesville, Florida.

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