News Release

Dive into the oceans with Google Earth

03 February 2009
Aldabra (Photo © Jerker Tamelander IUCN)

Very little is known about oceans. That's why very little - less than one percent - of the Earth's oceans are protected, compared to 12 percent of the land surface. 'Ocean in Google Earth', launching today, lets virtual voyagers find out what marine species live where and discover marine protected areas, one of the best tools for protecting our oceans.

Internet users can now travel in 3D through the vast and largely unknown underwater world of the planet’s oceans, allowing visitors to fly over and around underwater seamounts or follow scientific research expeditions as they mine the depths of the oceans for new species and discoveries.

For ‘Ocean in Google Earth’, IUCN, one of the key collaborators in this Google project, created the marine protected area layer, which contains information on over 4,500 protected sites spread around the globe. Be it the Great Barrier Reef, the three recently established US Marine National Monuments in the Pacific, or Galapagos World Heritage site – anybody can now dive in and explore the natural beauty, learn what threats these protected areas face and find out what they can do to help

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