The unity and continuity of the World Ocean, with relatively free interchange among its parts, is of fundamental importance to oceanography. It is divided into a number of principal oceanic areas that are delimited by the continents and various oceanographic features: these divisions are the Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean (sometimes considered a sea of the Atlantic), Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Southern Ocean, defined by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) in 2000, based on evidence that this region of the World Ocean has a distinct ecosystem and a unique impact on global climate. In turn, oceanic waters are interspersed by many smaller seas, gulfs, and bays.
A global ocean has existed in one form or another on Earth for eons, and the notion dates back to classical antiquity in the form of Oceanus.
Source: World Ocean – Wikipedia