Marine pollution is not new, it affects many, and it has to stop. Historically, this type of pollution was not monitored and thought to be harmless because there was a misconception that the ocean was endless and all that was dumped into it would just float away never to be seen again. The reality was and is the complete opposite.
What Does It All Mean?
Marine pollution is described as the harmful effect that is caused by the entry of toxic chemicals or particles, into the ocean. However, it does not stop there because many of these particles stick to tiny particles that are eaten by plankton animals, which are filter feeders, and it concentrates up the food chain to other fish and mammals. Most of the animal feed that is on the market contains high levels of fish meal or fish oil. The toxins are still within those products, thus contaminating animals on the land and the products that they make. Humans consume products like meat, milk, butter, and eggs which many have been contaminated.
Who Is To Blame?
While it would be easier to point the finger at one source of marine pollution, the answer is not that simple. In fact, we are all to blame for this ecological evil. Some of these factors include:
Oil Spills Illegal dumping, accidents, and faulty equipment have been the cause of numerous catastrophes.
Toxic Materials Metals and slowly degrading chemicals are exposed to waterways every day. Things like household chemicals, industrial products, animal wastes, and automotive products are lumped into this category.
Trash When plastics and other products that are not biodegradable end up in the oceans, animals get tangled up in them or they may mistake them for food and die.
Mining Coastal mining sites and other erosion makers threaten our waterfronts.
Raw Sewage Many areas have been fined for illegally dumping raw sewage into the ocean. This sewage contains a battery of toxins that do irreversible damage to the animal and plant life that makes the ocean their home.
What Can Be Done?
Just like there is not just one reason for marine pollution, there is more then one answer. A few creative options include:
Government Many governments have gotten stricter about regulating and fining for industrial waste dumping. However, the world is a big place and all governments need to consider this a priority.
In the home There are many things that we all can do to help with this issue. Finding alternative cleaning products that do not contain phosphates and other toxins will eliminate the waste into the ground waters which end up in the ocean. Also, recycling plastics so they do not get dumped and cause harm to marine animal life.
Frugal fuel The need for less fossil fuels will lessen the need to transport on our oceans which will lessen the likelihood of accidents.
Marine pollution is serious business and it is time that we all get with the program and do our part to help in fight against it. Creative thinking and getting back to the basics may help for a cleaner marine future.