World Ocean Review

The World Ocean Review series is published by maribus, a non-profit company founded by the mareverlag publishing house. Maribus is dedicated to raising the public’s awareness of interrelationships in marine science, thus contributing to a more effective protection of the seas.

Contributions to the publications have been received from numerous partners and researchers whose many years’ involvement with the marine environment has put them at the cutting edge of science:

  • a team of experts from the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”, an initiative supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) comprising more than 200 scientists representing diverse disciplines
  • the International Ocean Institute (IOI) founded by Elisabeth Mann Borgese in 1972
  • mare – the magazine of the seas

The purpose of our publications is to present scientifically robust knowledge in a form accessible to any reader, and thus to serve all those who wish to engage actively and knowledgably in debate on the issues surrounding marine science.


Our publications are not for sale, but are made available free of charge. Free downloads of the books are available as PDF files in English.

WOR 8: The Ocean – A Climate Champion? How to Boost Marine Carbon Dioxide Uptake


The eighth edition of World Ocean Review synthesises the current state of knowledge around Ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR). It aims to initiate a much needed debate on whether humankind can and should intervene further in the Ocean in order to protect the climate. What action should we take for the effective mitigation of climate change? Measures to avoid greenhouse gas emissions are surely the main priority – but the truth is that in the coming decades, we will also have to remove large quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it securely. Can – indeed, should – the Ocean aid us in this task? The new World Ocean Review explores this issue with reference to the Oceans's role in the Earth’s carbon cycle and looks at the benefits, risks and knowledge gaps around the main marine carbon dioxide removal techniques. Can and should humankind intervene further in the Ocean in order to protect the climate? This eighth edition of World Ocean Review provides some answers.



WOR 7: The Ocean, Guarantor of Life – Sustainable Use, Effective Protection


The seventh edition of the World Ocean Review focuses on the effects of climate change on the physics of the ocean and on its biotic communities; the consequences of fishing, shipping, resource extraction, energy production, and marine pollution; and the questions of how active substances from the ocean can be used and how the ocean can be managed in the future in such a way that both its protection and the participation of as many people as possible in its services and goods are ensured.




WOR 6: The Arctic and Antarctic – Extreme, Climatically Crucial and In Crisis


This sixth World Ocean Review (WOR) focuses on the Arctic and the Antarctic – two regions which are, in a very real sense, polar opposites, with some of the world’s most extreme conditions. Besides presenting a wealth of facts and figures about the history and exploration of the polar regions, WOR 6 builds a deeper awareness of their key role for life on our planet. It highlights the changes that can be observed in their flora and fauna and analyses the already dramatic impacts of global warming on these extremely fragile regions.


On Thursday, 7th November 2019, the sixth “World Ocean Review” (WOR 6) was presented to the public with the motto “The Arctic and Antarctic – Extreme, Climatically Crucial and In Crisis”.



WOR 5: Coasts - A Vital Habitat Under Pressure


The fifth World Ocean Review (WOR 5) explores the coastal habitat and the diverse expectations upon this habitat. It provides a glimpse into millions of years of history, elucidates the theory of continental drift and discusses the many ways in which coasts have changed. It also illustrates how the diverse ecosystem services rendered by the coasts are being subjected to increasing pressure, and profiles measures that will be necessary in the future to respond effectively to the threats from both climate change and natural disasters.


WOR 5 focuses on the coastal habitat and how increasing pressures on this habitat can be addressed in the future. Although the feasibility of influencing the occurrence of natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes is negligible, it is possible for people to act against climate change. Today, a wide variety of approaches and ideas have already been proposed for the responsible use and enhanced protection of coastal regions in the future. In this respect, however, it is important not only to take account of the diverse stakeholder interests that exist today, but also to take action in pursuit of the sustainable stewardship of our coasts in the future.


Many experts have contributed their ­specialized knowledge to the compilation of the World Ocean Review in 2017. These included, in particular, scientists working in one of the member institutions of the German Marine Research Consortium (KDM) and the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”.


The publication was officially launched on 16th November 2017 at the Schleswig-Holstein’s Permanent Mission in Berlin as part of an evening event with guests from politics, business, science, media and education.



WOR 4: Sustainable Use of Our Oceans – Making Ideas Work


The fourth World Ocean Review (WOR 4) was presented to the public under the title “Sustainable Use of Our Oceans – Making Ideas Work.” This edition of the World Ocean Review focuses on sustainability and explores how that concept can guide the management of our marine environment. It explains the key ecosystem services supplied by our seas and identifies the main threats to them while offering an overview of current marine policy at regional and transnational level and shows how conservation and sustainable use of our oceans can be reconciled in future.


"Sustainability” has become one of today’s inflationary terms and is therefore some­what imprecise. Its meaning varies according to definition or context. Sustain­ability can only be achieved, however, if there is agreement on the concept and its meaning. Only then can a clear set of demands and appropriate policy measures be developed. This applies equally to sustainable management of onshore and offshore resources. This fourth edition of the World Ocean Review therefore attempts to build a bridge between the theory of sustainability and its practical application in science and policy-making. It shows how attempts are now being made in various scientific disci­plines to develop viable hypotheses and models through which the findings of sustainability theoreticians can be translated into social, political and economic strategies with practical relevance. The implementation of these strategies is ultimately a matter for policy-makers, but private individuals, businesses and public institutions can make substantial contributions to sustainable development as well.




The publication was officially launched in Berlin on the 10th November 2015. More information may be downloaded below: 

Launching of the Report “World Ocean Review 4”
IOInforma 0815.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.2 MB

WOR 3: Marine Resources – Opportunities and Risks


WOR 3 explores comprehensively the issues surrounding marine resources. The report sets out the current resource situation and presents in detail the markets for crude oil, natural gas and metal-bearing ores. In that setting, it goes on to examine the demand for resource extraction from the marine realm. The offshore gas and oil industry is long established and is reaching ever greater depths in the sea in its quest for new and major deposits – for instance in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Brazil. In contrast to oil and gas production, the future marine mining of metals and minerals is only just emerging. Today, the technology for large-scale, regular extraction is still not available.


On 20th February 2014, the third “World Ocean Review 3” (WOR3) was presented to the public with the motto, “Marine Resources – Opportunities and Risks.” Nikolaus Gelpke, project initiator and mareverlag publisher (IOI President) and Prof. Dr Martin Visbeck, spokesman for the Kiel Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean” spoke at the presentation. Afterwards there was a discussion between Dr. Sven Petersen, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Dr. Christian Reichert, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) and member of the International Seabed Authority ISA and Dr Gerd Schriever from Biolab Research Institute under the moderation of Philip Bethge, "Der Spiegel”.



WOR 2: The Future of Fish – The Fisheries of the Future


WOR 1 provided a panoptic overview. The following report (WOR 2), the second in the series, focuses on the future of fish and their exploitation. Fish have always been a vital source of life for mankind – not only as a food. Fish continue to be essential to the daily diet of people in most regions of the world. At the same time fisheries provide a livelihood to entire coastal regions and still have great economic clout. All this, however, is in jeopardy and is coming under close scrutiny. Fish stocks are declining worldwide, entire marine regions are overfished and some species are already red-listed.


On 21st February, the "World Ocean Review 2 - The future of fish – the fisheries of the future" (WOR 2) was launched in the presence of the contributing partners. With the new report, published by the non-profit organization maribus gGmbH, again with support from the magazine mare, the International Ocean Institute and the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”, scientists from Kiel together with other leading international fisheries experts have produced one of the most comprehensive investigations into the state of worldwide fisheries. 



WOR 1: Living with the Oceans


The first “World Ocean Review” (WOR 1) was published in 2010 and is followed by periodic updates in the future. The result is a comprehensive, detailed and unique report about the state of the world’s oceans and their interplay with ecological, economic and sociopolitical conditions. Its aim is to increase public awareness of the interconnected nature of the diverse aspects of the marine environment and thus to boost marine conservation.






The Launching of the Report “World Ocean Review 2010” in the presence of EU Commissioner Maria Damanaki, Brussels, Tuesday 19th April 2011 can be downloaded using the link below.

Launching of the Report “World Ocean Review 2010” by IOI & EU Commissioner
IOInforma 0511.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 720.3 KB