Ocean Health Index

People depend on healthy oceans. Among the many benefits they provide us are food, livelihoods, protection from natural disasters, recreational opportunities, and spiritual connection.

But how healthy are our oceans? The Ocean Health Index is a tool to measure exactly that.

A collaborative initiative of NCEAS and Conservation International, the Ocean Health Index (OHI) is a comprehensive framework for evaluating the conditions of many things people value about oceans. By synthesizing data into concrete scores, the framework equips managers and policymakers with meaningful “vital signs” that can help them manage oceans sustainably.

The framework can be applied at global, regional, and national scales, enabling tailored assessments with relevant results.    

Since 2012, our scientists have done annual global assessments to develop a health record for the world’s oceans. We also support independent groups in conducting their own regional assessments by providing consultation, training, and tools through OHI+.

Explore the Ocean Health Index

Learn more about the framework and how it can inform ocean management.

Go to the OHI website.

Conduct a regional assessment

Access resources for conducting an independent ocean health assessment.

Go to the OHI+ website.

Download the Ocean Health Index infographic.


What we measure

The Ocean Health Index measures the conditions of a suite of benefits, or goals, that support human well-being and sustainable marine ecosystems. Learn more


This year’s global Ocean Health Index score

See how our oceans collectively scored in 2017. Learn more.

The best available science

The Ocean Health Index is designed to inform ocean management using the best available data, methods, and analytical tools. Our scientists accomplish this by following best practices in open science and data science, including making their data freely available

Additionally, OHI scientists help foster the movement toward open science and build capacity in data science by training ocean scientists in associated methods and tools and providing resources on best practices. 

Learn more about how this approach has helped them to do better science in less time.

Related Stories

We're really doing a number on the world's oceans

Where is ocean biodiversity most at risk?

Africa ocean health index 2018: Seychelles top, Ivory Coast bottom

The Ocean Health Index Partners with Esri to Strengthen Links between Ocean Data and Management

What Does Scientific Reproducibility Look Like

A Unique Honor for Ocean Science

Four Reasons Why You Should Care about the Ocean in 2018

Sixth Annual Assessment of Ocean Health Shows Relative Stability

Ocean Vital Signs are Stable, But Bill of Health Isn't Clean

Better Science in Less Time

Ocean Health Index Used in Antarctic Marine Ecosystems Assessment