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Ocean Pollution: the Dirty Facts You Need to Know

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Pollution has become one of the biggest problems facing all living things on earth. To begin with, is important to know the definition of “pollution”. This term means the manifestation of any unsolicited foreign substance in something. Ocean pollution also known as marine pollution is a situation of great impact in the world, this is because oceans are essential resources that provide a living for humans, plants, and animals. Scientists say that only 5% of the oceans are known. It is a quiet little, and it is believed that within them lay the greatest of mysteries that could be the answer to many of the stigmas in life. This is why it is considered that these large bodies of water contribute to the life cycle in a thousand ways that otherwise the world simply would not be as it is known nowadays. Despite this, humans are so naïve focusing on the present and do not recognize the threats of the future.

The damage that take place within the oceans is, in its great majority, the result of lack of awareness by humans. In order to change this fact, it is necessary to understand how human activities are affecting, in circles, the existence. According to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) the number and size of ocean dead zones have doubled each decade since the 1960s. That’s why it’s important to raise awareness and try to stop this troubled situation that is constantly getting worse. As a result of the lack of education the future is unpredictable and life on earth sounds just like an unattainable ideal.

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This article’s intention is to acknowledge what are the causes of ocean pollution, the consequences and ways to prevent this problematic.

Eutrophication

When there is an excess of chemical nutrients mainly nitrates and phosphates in the water, it leads to eutrophication or nutrient pollution. Eutrophication decreases the level of oxygen, reduces the quality of water, makes the water inhabitable for fish, affects the breeding process within the marine life and increases the primary productivity of the marine ecosystem.

Acidification

Oceans act as a natural reservoir for absorbing carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere. But, due to a rising level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the oceans across the world are becoming acidic in nature. As a consequence, it leads to the acidification of oceans.

Toxins

There are persistent toxins that do not get dissolved with the marine ecosystem rapidly. Toxins such as pesticides, DDT, PCBs, furans, TBT, radioactive waste, phenols, and dioxins get accumulated in the tissue cells of the marine lifeforms and lead to bioaccumulation difficulting the life underwater and sometimes leads to a mutation in aquatic life forms.

Plastics

The ever-growing dependence of the human population on plastic has filled the oceans and the land, it consists of 80 percent of the debris found in the oceans. Plastic thrown and found in the oceans is dangerous for marine life and wildlife, as sometimes it strangles and chokes them to death. The rising levels of plastic landfills found in the oceans are suffocating, ingested and entangle life underwater and above.

Sewage

We call sewage to the waters that result after being used in our homes, in factories, in livestock activities, etc.

Sewage appears dirty and contaminated: they carry fats, detergents, organic matter, industrial and livestock waste, pesticides and sometimes some very toxic substances. These wastewaters, before returning to nature, must be purified. For this, they are taken to the treatment plants or stations, where the most appropriate treatment is carried out to return the water to nature in the best possible conditions.

Toxic Chemicals from Industries

The industry is probably the most important cause of marine pollution, due to the large amounts of hydrocarbons and other toxic substances they throw. This type of waste directly affects marine life causing an increase in sea temperature, also known as thermal pollution.

Large Scale Oil Spills

An oil spill or black tide is a discharge of this hydrocarbon that happens because of a coincidence that pollutes the surroundings, specifically the ocean. These spills affect the whole surroundings in which the occasion takes place, which seriously damages flora and fauna and fisheries, as well as the coasts with effects that could grow to be very continual through the years

Ocean Mining

Ocean mining in the deep sea is yet every other supply of ocean pollution. Ocean mining sites drilling for silver, gold, copper, cobalt, and zinc create sulfide deposits up to three and a half thousand meters down into the sea. Deep-sea mining reasons harm to the lowest degrees of the ocean and growth the toxicity of the place. This permanent damage dealt additionally causes leaking, corrosion, and oil spill that best substantially further precludes the ecosystem of the place.

Littering

Pollution from the surroundings is a big source of ocean pollutants. This occurs when objects which might be some distance inland are blown through the wind over long distances and grow to be inside the ocean. These objects may be whatever like dirt and sand to guy-made objects together with debris and trash. Most particles, especially plastic particles, cannot decompose and stays suspended in the ocean’s current for years.

Effect of Toxic Wastes on Marine Animals

The oil spill is risky to marine existence in numerous approaches. The oil spilled within the ocean should get on to the gills and feathers of marine animals, which makes it difficult for them to move or fly well or feed their kids. The long-time impact on marine lifestyles can consist of most cancers, failure inside the reproductive gadget, behavioral changes, and even demise.

Disruption to the Cycle of Coral Reefs

Oil spill floats on the floor of the water and stops sunlight from attaining to marine plant life and influences the technique of photosynthesis. Skin inflammation, eye infection, lung and liver issues can affect marine life over a protracted period.

Depletes Oxygen Content in Water

Most of the particles within the ocean does no longer decompose and stay in the ocean for years. It uses oxygen because it degrades. As an end result of this, oxygen tiers move down. When oxygen tiers move down, the probabilities of survival of marine animals like whales, turtles, sharks, dolphins, penguins for a long time additionally go down.

Failure in the Reproductive System of Sea Animals

Industrial and agricultural wastes encompass numerous poisonous chemicals that are taken into consideration risky for marine existence. Chemicals from insecticides can gather in the fatty tissue of animals, main to failure in their reproductive machine.

Effect on Food Chain

Chemicals used in industries and agriculture get washed into the rivers and from there are carried into the oceans. These chemical compounds do now not get into a solution and sink at the bottom of the ocean. Small animals ingest these chemical substances and are later eaten by using large animals, which then influences the whole food chain.

Affects Human Health

Animals from impacted food chains are then eaten by humans, which affects their health. this is because pollutants from these infected animals get deposited inside the tissues of humans and can lead to cancer, delivery defects or long term fitness issues.

Measures of prevention

Stop using plastic and littering, as they not only block the drains, but they are also released into the oceans.

  • Travel by sea in a responsibly way: for activities performed in the water, do not throw anything overboard and be aware of the marine life that lives in the waters. When going on a cruise, better take the option that is most environmentally friendly.
  • Volunteer at a beach cleanup – or organize one: help a local beach by getting together with the rest of the community to pick up the trash left behind by careless picnickers, boat crews, and other groups. Working together with other people also helps to keep everyone motivated and serves as a reminder that humans are not alone in the quest to care for the environment.
  • Campaign: Guide on the decisions of policymakers and factory bosses to make them more eco-friendly by pressure them, writing letters, spreading the word on social media and campaigning.
  • An important factor is definitely what is poured into seas and oceans. Recycling and reuse of wastewater must be increased. Homes should be connected to the sewer system and reduce pollution of storm drains. Wastewater should be also seen as a resource, which, if used safely and sensibly to avoid health problems, can be very beneficial, especially in small islands where drinking water is scarce.

Marine pollution is a recurring situation that makes a serious wake-up call, and we can clearly see it in the present consequences. Not only is life under the sea that is being affected, but also, even taking into consideration people’s selfish concern, human health itself.

Looking at it that way, it is counterproductive to damage something for artificial well-being of humans, when it is widely known that the most important thing is the cost for that, the most crucial source of everything: nature.

Therefore, joining together as a community to care for the natural world is a wonderful way to remind everyone how intimately we are connected to nature, and how much we depend on it

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