Top 20 Marine Hotspots

gulf-porpoise_020811

Scientists have identified the 20 most important regions of the world’s oceans and lakes that are key to ensuring the survival of the planet’s marine mammals such as seals and porpoises.

Their analysis also shows, however, that most of these areas are already under pressure from human impacts such as pollution and shipping.

Marine ecosystems around the world are deteriorating rapidly, according to Sandra Pompa, an ecologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico who led the study, in particular due to habitat degradation, introduction of exotic species and over-exploitation of natural resources.

Many species of marine mammals have experienced severe population depletion and several