One of the most mysterious and diverse places on earth, the majority of the ocean has yet to be explored.
Unfortunately, the ocean is being threatened by pollution – mostly caused by humans. While we cannot control natural causes such as earthquakes and tsunamis, the impact of human pollution is increasing, but there are many ways we can push back and reduce our impact on the ocean.
First, it’s important to learn about the many ways that we are affecting the ocean with pollution. Here’s how humans are polluting and threatening the ocean.
Plastic, commonly found in the ocean, rivers, lakes and in even the streets we walk.
We all know that plastic doesn’t break down easily. Unfortunately, marine animals see plastic as food, which is extremely harmful to them. Also, plastic absorbs toxic chemicals from the ocean pollution, which poisons whatever eats it.
The impact of plastic in the ocean is enormous. There’s an island of garbage twice the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean.
Off the coast of California, the North Pacific Gyre is the largest oceanic garbage site in the world. The amount of plastic floating in the ocean now outnumbers the total marine life.
With the above in mind, it’s clear that plastic is one of the most serious threats to the ocean. Because it doesn’t break down; instead it attracts more debris and harms sea creatures as well as affect the marine ecosystem.
There are a number of land-based sources that cause pollution such as oil, dirt, waste and trash that is deposited into the ocean on a daily basis.
While the trash and waste are dumped into the ocean much further away from the land, it still shows up on coastline areas. The results are that every marine animal is affected by these man-made chemicals that are released into their habitat.
The impact of oil
Far more harmful than trash and waste, oil is the fastest source of deterioration to the ocean. While you may think that the main cause of oil in the ocean is due to oil spills, it only counts for a small percentage, which is around twelve percent. The bigger offender is the oil being drained from the land into the ocean – this oil causes the most harm. Oil suffocates marine life and studies have shown that there’s a possibility of it even causing behavioural changes in marine animals.
Every year, thousands and even millions of marine animals and other sea life die due to the pollution of the ocean. These creatures are killed by being entangling in discarded fishing nets, eating plastic and suffocation by oil in the ocean.