Our oceans are one of the most valuable resources we have here on Earth. And after decades – if not hundreds of years – of polluting our marine environments, we’re finally just now beginning to see a major increase in public concern and outrage over the contamination. Regrettably though, it’s not going to be easy to negate the damage that we’ve already done, but there are some powerful things that we can do that will have a big impact.
Polluting Our Coastlines and Shores
Every single day, harmful pollutants and chemicals are knowingly pumped directed into our oceans, lakes, and rivers. This is done by large corporations, with the consent of the government, and is one of the biggest threats to the future of our oceans. Not only can these chemicals harm current marine life, but they can also soil the ecosystems for years to come.
In order to reduce the amount of pollution being fed into our waters, we need to push for stronger government and social pressure on the companies who are at fault.
Global Warming and Increased Sea Temperatures
We hear a lot about global warming in the news, but few people actually think of the impact that it can have on the environment. When sea temperatures rise as a result of global warming, even just a few degrees difference can have a severe impact on marine ecosystems. Anyone who has ever had a fish tank at home knows how sensitive fish and other marine life can be to change in their habitats. When the ocean waters rise in temperature, we’re going to see a similar effect among marine life in the wild.
Overfishing and Overharvesting of Marine Life
Another major way that humans have messed up the natural balance in our oceans is through overfishing and the overharvesting of marine life. In the past, eating seafood from the ocean was primarily limited to cities directly on the coast – we didn’t have any way to transport fresh fish and other seafood before the advent of automobiles, trains, and refrigeration. But now, within the past hundred years, technological advancement has given us the opportunity to catch seafood and ship it anywhere in the world. Obviously this has resulted in a significant increase in worldwide consumption of ocean-based seafood.
Now we’re at a point where we’ve overharvested the sea’s resources and it isn’t only affecting the species that we’re catching – it’s creating a huge ripple all of the way up the food chain.
Luckily, our marine experts have come up with some pretty solid plans for stopping – and even reversing – the damage done by overfishing, but it involves closing off areas to fishing and creating protected marine environments instead. At this point, it’s up to governments around the world to enact regulations to protect our sea life.
Oceans cover the majority of Earth – far more area than is covered by land – and have always been one of our most important resources. But over the past few generations, man has done a large amount of damage to our seas. Luckily, with more public support for proven techniques to fix the damage, we will one day be able to take back our oceans and once again truly support nature.