What Are The Biggest Threats To The Marine Environment? A Close and Hard Look
The undertakings of humans affect the environment in several ways. Land pollution, air pollution, and water pollution testify to the disastrous nature of human beings.
Of late, ocean pollution has become one of the major concerns. The vicious deeds of humans take their toll on the marine environment so much so that the marine ecosystem is degrading with each passing second.
Discussed below are the biggest threats to the environment. Read on.
- Dumping waste in the ocean
Ships, industries, and sewage plants dump their waste into oceans that pollute the marine ecosystem. Apart from industrial and chemical waste, household waste also poses a threat to the marine ecosystem.
According to studies, 2/3rds of marine life across the globe is under the threat of chemical waste, such as household cleaners. Another study has revealed that mining companies alone dump 220 million tonnes of toxic waste into oceans.
Over the years, ocean dumping hasn’t just affected the marine ecosystem but human health as well.
- Noise pollution from ship operations
As noise travels easily in water, the noise from ships is no less than a menace for marine animals.
Noise pollution in oceans is a result of shipping operations. When ships maneuver on large water bodies, the noise generated takes a toll on marine organisms. The harmful effects manifest as hemorrhages and damage to the internal organs of marine animals. It also alters their diving patterns.
The noise pollution often forces marine animals to migrate to newer places and induces a panic response to sounds in these animals.
- Oil spills
The world has witnessed oil spill disasters quite a few times. Oil spills are the greatest cause of marine pollution, affecting the marine and terrestrial ecosystems equally.
How can the world forget the Amoco Cadiz Oil Spill, the Kolva River Spill, the Atlantic Empress Oil Spill, the Ixtoc 1 Oil Spill, and other similar accidents that had taken a great toll on the ecosystem? They killed millions of marine species, polluted the coastal areas, and affected several birds and animals.
While it is easy for humans to deal with the negative impacts of oil spills with modern techniques and oil spill solutions, like reusable dewatering bags, filter socks, absorbent fabrics, centipede, oil sweep, etc., it is often difficult for marine animals to cope with the damage.
Although today, we are well-equipped to fight oil spill accidents, they are still a threat.
- Plastic pollution
Plastic is a menace to both land and water. If numbers are to be believed, around eight million tonnes of plastic make way to oceans every year. Fishing nets, plastic bags, and other such plastic waste choke several marine animals every year.
- Ocean acidification
Ocean acidification has become a big concern these days. With the pH of seawater dropping day by day due to the absorption of CO2 (carbon dioxide) from the atmosphere, it is becoming a threat to marine and human life, equally.
Ocean acidification poses a threat to marine organisms and humans who consume fish.
- Land runoff
The nonpoint sources are one of the biggest causes of ocean pollution that are a big threat to the marine environment. Land runoff from agricultural lands brings soil adulterated with carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and minerals to water bodies.
This water reaches oceans crossing rivers and streams and results in algal bloom that harms the marine environment. This water poses a danger to shrimps, fish, turtles, and other marine animals.
The bottom line
The health of our oceans is miserable. It is high time we ditch destructive habits and take stringent measures to restore the wellbeing of the marine ecosystem.