Oceans are the lifeblood of planet earth and humankind. They produce more then half of the oxygen in the atmosphere but also absorb the most carbon. Oceans hold 97% of the earths water. The air you breathe, the water you drink, the clothes that keep you warm, etc. all come from or are transported by the ocean. Without our oceans, all life, including humans, will not survive.
Threats to our oceans:
Plastic is a constant battle for our oceans. Plastic takes a long time, if ever to break down, and leads to marine life consuming it as it can look like food. The biggest source of pollution comes from land base sources. One hundred thousand sea mammals are killed every year due to ocean pollution.
We have depleted the fish in our oceans by overfishing. Humans are fishing and consuming amounts of fish so high that the reproduction rate is falling behind. Certain species are becoming extinct and are listed as endangered. We are heading towards days of empty oceans. Not only are we over fishing, but when fish are being caught in large nets, large animals including dolphins, turtles, sharks, etc. are getting caught in these nets and not surviving.
Coastal run off is a huge problem for our oceans survival. Oil streaked streets, lawn mowers and many other mechanical machines are leaving gas, oil, etc. into our drains on our streets, which then leads to the ocean. Agriculture run off is also another rising issue. Fertilizer from farms is constantly running from ground to ocean, changing the food environment for living beings in the ocean.
Tankers, barges, pipelines, refineries, drilling rigs, all ocean traffic and machines used by humans to gain oil, but one mistake, and you have a mass destruction due to an oil spill. 4.9 million litres of oil are spilled into US waters from vessels and pipelines a year. Causing wildlife loss, and completely putting our lives, and the earth at risk of devastation and loss of life. Many oil spills get noticed at first when they occur, but many are continuously harming the ocean and marine life, but yet are forgotten about in the news and discussion.
Manmade noises drown out sounds that whales and other marine life need to communicate. Marine life everyday are effected from sonar, potentially killing and harming life under water.
Dead Zones are areas in the worlds oceans caused by excessive nutrient pollution from human activities combining other factors. Currently there are 405 dead zones in our oceans, a little more from 49 in the 1960’s. Due to lack of oxygen, fish, coral, any and all types of marine life are non existent.
How we can slow down and stop the devastation to our oceans and marine life, and what we can do to make a positive change.
A lot of people assume that if they only take big steps to make change, only then change will happen, but that is not true at all. Every little action creates a wave of positive reaction. Maybe you start to recycle, or when taking a walk on the beach you pick up a few pieces of trash, or ride your bike to work one day a week. All of these little steps can create change. Maybe someone witnesses you picking up trash etc it may start a conversation about ocean awareness and the effects that humanity has on it today.
– Go vegan.
– Use fewer plastic products.
– Help take care of the beach.
– Don’t purchase items that exploit marine life.
– Be an ocean friendly pet owner.
– Make safe, sustainable seafood choices.
– Support organizations working to protect the oceans.
– Mind your carbon footprint.
– Travel the ocean responsibly.
– Educate yourself and others about the ocean and marine life.
– Start a conversation!