This is divided into five geographical regions: the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean. The ocean is a continuous body of salt water that covers more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. The oceans hold about 321 million cubic miles (1.34 billion cubic kilometers) of water, which is roughly 97 percent of Earth’s water supply.
Provides substantial supplies of food for humans, mainly fish, but also shellfish, mammals and seaweed, whether caught by fishermen or farmed underwater.
Even now, when the continents have been mapped and their interiors made accessible by road, river and air, most of the world’s people live no more than 200 miles from the sea and relate closely to it. The oceans had long been subject to the freedom of-the-seas doctrine - a principle put forth in the 17th century, essentially limiting national rights and jurisdiction over the oceans to a narrow belt of sea surrounding a nation’s coastline. The remainder of the seas was proclaimed to be free to all and belonging to none. While this situation prevailed into the twentieth century, by mid-century there was an impetus to extend national claims over offshore resources.
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Marine ecology and conservation
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