Causes and Effects of Ocean Pollution
We all know that oceans cover 70% of the earth's surface. It plays a vital role in our planet and the lives living on it. For years, human activities have affected marine life in the ocean, and we, for some reason, are guilty of marine and ocean pollution.
Ocean pollution is the scattering of harmful substances like plastics, oil, agricultural and industrial wastes, and chemical particles. And we know that these substances could have caused the worst and may cause irreversible effects of ocean pollution.
Different Causes of Ocean Pollution
For us to be aware and become educated about the things that can harm the oceans, here are the things that must be prevented to maintain the beauty of the ocean and lessen the effect of ocean pollution.
Agricultural and industrial wastes are the common form of wastes that are discharged into the seas and ocean. If this happens, there is no doubt that it will lead to the dangerous effect of ocean pollution.
Also, throwing toxic wastes and liquids can directly harm marine life since they are hazardous and could raise the ocean's temperature. This is what we call the thermal pollution that these liquids bring. Marine life can't survive high temperatures; therefore, it may lead to damage.
Ships are among the huge sources that greatly contribute to the effect of ocean pollution. Oil spills are among the most devastating effects that ships cause as they bring crude oil. The crude oils can last in the sea for years, and they will be toxic to marine life.
The crude oils can suffocate marine life to death as soon as it entraps them. Crude oil is not easy to clean up as well. So, the moment it scatters, it usually stays and destroys the ocean.
Pollution can instantly get in the ocean right away. Substances that cause pollution flow through sewage, drainages, or rivers and go directly to the ocean. When the chemical elements were released into the ocean, it could lead to oxygen level reduction, a decline in seawater quality, and death of plant life.
As a result, the levels of oceanic life, animals, and plants are affected.
Another cause of ocean pollution is land runoff. This happens when water infiltrates the soil to its maximum extent, melting or flooding over the land and excess rainwater. Usually, the water picks up the harmful contaminants that humans cause. As a result, it may end up polluting the ocean leaving too much damage to marine life.
Many believed that the ocean floor is a source of zinc, copper, silver, and gold. That is why many are interested in mining under the sea. But did you know what happens when there is mining under the sea? It may also result in ocean pollution.
It's so hard to understand how people can sacrifice marine life just to become rich. But, unfortunately, substances are drilled and may impact marine life. Material leaks and possible corrosion may just worsen the problem.
Possible Effects of Ocean Pollution
The overabundance of pollution may lead to a variety of consequences. Here are the effects of ocean pollution that anyone of us must be aware of and should prevent from happening.
It could kill the marine life
The effect of toxic chemicals and wastes like oil spills can be harmful to marine life in many ways. First, it could get into the feathers and gills of marine animals. As a result, it would be hard for them to swim or move properly. And worse, the long-term effect on the marine life of these chemicals can lead to cancer, behavioral changes, and worst, death.
Destroys the shelter of fishes
Chemicals floating on the ocean's surface block the sunlight from reaching the coral reefs and other marine plants. It affects the process of photosynthesis that every plant needs. Over time, it could also develop irritation to the coral reefs until it gets damaged.
Oxygen content depletion
The debris found in the ocean doesn't decompose and may remain in the ocean for years. And as it degrades, it uses oxygen and may result in going down of oxygen levels. The chances of survival of marine animals like sharks, whales, dolphins, turtles, or even penguins could go down because of oxygen depletion.
Effects on food chain
Did you know that toxic chemicals may affect the food chain? For example, when most industries' chemicals were thrown on the ocean, it did not always dissolve or sink at the ocean's bottom. Instead, small fishes might ingest these harmful chemicals. Later on, when large animals eat the small fishes, it might harm them as well. As a result, the entire supply chain would be affected.
Greatly affect the human health
If you think that ocean pollution only applies to marine life, you have to be aware that it greatly impacts humankind. For example, humans can eat contaminated animals that may be a part of the food chain.
If this happens, it harms our health as the harmful chemicals from these animals can get into the tissues of people. It may lead to birth defects, cancer, and long-term health issues. Worst, it could cause death to people as well.
How to Prevent Effects of Ocean Pollution
Ocean pollution is a serious matter that needs a solution as soon as possible. Unfortunately, since this is happening to our world, the marine ecosystem is getting disturbed severely. Here are the solutions you can do to prevent it.
- Prevent using plastic products
- Recycle or reuse cutlery and bottles
- Recycle things before throwing
- Stop Littering around the beach and start cleaning
- Prevent the use of chemical fertilizers
- Reduce the use of energy
Our world's oceans deserve care, just like how we care for things that belong to us. Since our oceans provide shelter to marine animals, we must make these oceans clean and livable so that marine life can grow healthily in a longer period.
Not only that, like we humans, are also affected by our doings. If we don't start today, how can we prevent it if it's too late already?
Here in ATOLEA, we can join hand in hand doing our part to save the ocean from all the negative effects of pollution. For every profit of our Ocean-inspired jewelry, part of it goes to Ocean conservation charities.
So dive into our symbolic Ocean-inspired jewelry collection and get inspired to raise awareness in saving the Ocean!