Seventeen thousand marine species are still unprotected in their natural habitat, reveals a new study. Marine species such as whales, fish or sharks have been left outside protected areas which would generally ensure biodiversity.

This new study, according to experts, is the most comprehensive analysis of seal world’s protected areas. The facts scientists have come to know during the analysis will have a great impact on the marine world as they explain where the exactly extension of the MPAs (marine protected areas) is possible.

The study had scientists from the University of California in Santa Barbara, the WCS, the National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis (a wing of the Imperial College of London), and Australia’s Research Council Center of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, as contributors.

Findings of the study revealed that as much as 97.4% of all endangered marine species’ natural habitats have just 10% of protected areas. The United States, Brazil, and Canada are the countries to have the worst rate in protecting fish species; this is because those countries have extremely small protected areas in the sea.

During the study, scientists looked at around 17,400 marine species including sharks, rays, fish and whales. The discovered that the poorly represented marine species tend to live in the exclusive economic zones. What this means is that just 2% of the natural habitat of those species are protected areas.

This problem highlights the increasing need of extending the MPAs. Doing so is more important for species limited to a particular geographic location.

Must Read: 17000 marine species worldwide remain largely unprotected, Study

It’s true that the recent years have witnessed a significant increase in MPAs, but this new study has found that the extension has taken place just in some specific areas. So, to safeguard biodiversity, drastic steps need to be taken for ensuring that all marine species remain protected.

Extension of the MPAs has become the need of the hour as it’s just not nature that is impacted directly by marine biodiversity millions of people around the globe also rely strongly on it. This new study has come up with strategic indications on potential locations of new MPAs. The study has also suggested that to protect biodiversity it is extremely important to reduce the negative socio-economic effects.

The entire study has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.