‘Ocean Atlas’: story of the threats to marine ecosystems worldwide

Publication title: Atles del mar. Fets i dades sobre les amenaces als ecosistemes marins
Author: Translation: Miquel Canals
Publication type: Other
ISBN number: 978-84-9168-300-1
“Beyond fear and uncertainty, like the ones we undergo at the moment, the ocean will still be there, and the future of humanity will depend on its health”, notes Professor Miquel Canals, head of the Consolidated Research Group of Marine Geosciences of the UB and translator of the online book Atles del mar. Fets i dades sobre les amenaces als ecosistemes marins, published online by Publications and Editions of the University of Barcelona.


The new volume is the first edition in Catalan of the original work Ocean Atlas, written in English by more than twenty experts linked to Kiel University (Germany), and published in 2017 with the support from Heinrich Böll Schleswig-Holstein Foundation, Heinrich Böll Foundation and the excellence cluster The Future Ocean, from Kiel University.

From microplastics to global change: a threatened sea

Marine ecosystems –the remotest and most unknown in the planet– gather a great biodiversity many people do not know about. Apart from being a source of natural resources, the ocean plays a determining role in the world primary production, nutrient cycles and regulation of the climate on Earth, among other life-essential processes. However, the future of the ocean space is full of doubts due to the impact of human activities related to the marine transit, infrastructures, exploitation of resources, landfill of waste, and educational and cultural activities.

The Ocean Atlas gathers rigorous and updated information on the dangers that threaten the sea due to the human activity. The volume exposes the devastating effects of overexploitation of oceans and wants to raise awareness about a reality which is becoming more and more worrying: the progressive degradation of marine ecosystems worldwide.


The new online work is regarded as an information tool to get updated and rigorous data on the essential aspects of the relationship between humans and the sea. The information is offered in short and understandable texts, and it is accompanied by maps and figures to represent specific cases.

Moreover, the atlas reminds us that we are all responsible for the deterioration of the sea and the oceans, as well as its protection, and its recovery as a natural ecosystem. The Ocean Atlas is a work of the Catàlisi collection, which was launched in 2007 by Publications and Editions of the UB and is led by David Bueno, lecturer at the Faculty of Biology of the UB. With more than thirty published articles, the collection aims to promote the access to scientific culture and knowledge transfer to a wide audience, with illustrated volumes and an own format of dissemination, providing readers with the research carried out in the university field.

Miquel Canals (Torà de Riubregós, 1957) is a professor at the Department of Earth and Ocean Dynamics of the Facuty of Earth Sciences of the UB. He is an expert in the field of marine geosciences, as well as in the impact of climate change and applied marine research, including geological risks. First coordinator of the bachelor’s degree in Marine Sciences –an interdisciplinary degree taught at the University of Barcelona since the academic year 2015/2016–, Canals has supervised several campaigns of marine geology in marine ecosystems worldwide. Framed within the European Commission Europe Horizon program, he is member of the international expert assembly whose mission is to face great scientific challenges regarding the conservation of the environmental health of the marine environment, coasts and continental waters. Canals has also presided the organizing committee of the 7th International Symposium on Marine Sciences (ISMS 2020), a science summit in July 2020 online which received a successful participation from national and international experts.

Atles del mar. Fets i dades sobre les amenaces als ecosistemes marins (eBook)
Translation: Miquel Canals, Facuty of Earth Sciences, University of Barcelona
Editions of the University of Barcelona, 2020
ISBN: 978-84-9168-300-1
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  • Professor Miquel Canals, head of the Consolidated Research Group of Marine Geosciences of the University of Barcelona

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