Effects of Ocean Pollution on Human and Marine Life

For centuries, ocean waters have been treated as sewage dumps. For example, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which is in one of the most urbanized, as well as, one of the most wealthiest nations in the world, sixteen million litres of raw sewage is dumped into the Halifax Harbour.

In places such as Calcutta, India, as much as 400 million tonnes of raw sewage and other municipal wastes are being dumped into coastal waters annually.

Polluting the ocean is a horrible act and the results can be devastating to all living things. Over 80% of Ocean pollution comes from land-based activities. Ocean pollution is not easy to control, but there are several measures that can be taken to alleviate the problem. The causes of ocean pollution are devastating, for ourselves and for all marine life, and one should learn and understand how it can be stopped.

Every day, people dump tonnes of garbage, human waste and household chemicals into the ocean. People pour oil and other types of chemicals down our drain daily, not thinking of the damage it may cause. The following are the most common and most harmful ways to pollute the ocean: toxic wastes, garbage dumping, vehicle pollution, boating pollution, oils, beachside pollution, wastewater and farming and agriculture. Toxic waste and chemicals are the number one cause of death among underwater sea creatures.

In some countries, people dump garbage and human waste into the ocean, thinking it is a solution for conserving land, however, matters are only made worse as the ocean is now polluted. Vehicles are also a significant source of ocean pollution. Vehicle pollution (gas) gets mixed with regular rain, which causes acid rain. Once the acid rain reaches the ocean, it is classified as ocean pollution. When you ride in a boat, the pollution that comes from the engine pollutes the water with chemicals. Chemicals from farming and agriculture are also a big concern. Chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, which are used to kill insects and animals, are also polluting the ocean. When it rains, these substances also get washed away into our ocean, killing ocean plants and animals.

Due to our foolishness, two thirds of marine life is now classified as threatened species. Every chemical we throw down the drain (i.e. drain cleaners, toilet cleaners, etc.) kills the fish and underwater life. It is similar to say that every 45 seconds a human dies due to lack of oxygen in this world – imagine if that were true. Underwater life is also a significant part of our food chain. Humans and other animals (i.e. bears, other fish, etc.) eat fish and other underwater sea creatures. Bears and other fish rely on marine life as their main food source. Also, fish have a lot of protein that humans need to loose weight and the high quality proteins in fish can be used to maintain an active metabolism. The protein in fish is also becoming increasingly popular, such as omega-3 fatty acids, and a few others, which helps show why it is important to stop polluting the ocean waters and killing marine life.

Controlling waste is very important, since all that the research tells us is that there are many dangerous and harmful effects that are happening in the oceans today. There are many things that one can do to save our oceans. The best thing one can do to keep the oceans clean, is to make sure that no one throws anything into the water or on the sand at a beach, because at night, the tide pulls in all the garbage.

There are many other things that one can do to keep the ocean clean such as: not pouring chemicals like oil or paint down the drain, not overwatering your lawn and garden, using nontoxic household products whenever possible, and in general, conserving water (i.e. don’t unnecessarily leave the tap on, take shorter showers, etc.).

After being more aware of the effects that ocean pollution has, try to keep in mind, somewhere in the back of your head, that polluting our ocean is not what one should do. “We never know the worth of water ’til the well is dry.” Remember the causes, think of the animals, and always remember to think about ways that can stop ocean pollution.