This dataset represents the boundaries of the major oceans and seas of the world. The source for the boundaries is the publication ‘Limits of Oceans & Seas, Special Publication No. 23’ published by the IHO in 1953. The dataset was composed by the Flanders Marine Data and Information Centre. NB: The Southern Ocean is not included in the IHO publication and its limits are subject of discussion among the scientific community. The Flanders Marine Institute acknowledges the controversy around this subject but decided to include the Southern Ocean in the dataset as this term is often used by scientists working in this area. major oceans and seas of the world While there is only one global ocean, the vast body of water that covers 71 percent of the Earth is geographically divided into distinct named regions. The boundaries between these regions have evolved over time for a variety of historical, cultural, geographical, and scientific reasons. Historically, there are four named ocean basins: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic. However, most countries – including the United States – now recognize the Southern (Antarctic) as the fifth ocean basin. The Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian are the most commonly known. The Southern Ocean is the ‘newest’ named ocean basin. It is recognized by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names as the body of water extending from the coast of Antarctica to the line of latitude at 60 degrees South. The boundaries of this ocean were proposed to the International Hydrographic Organization in 2000. However, not all countries agree on the proposed boundaries, so this has yet to be ratified by members of the IHO. The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth. It is also “any of…

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