Home Environment Pollution of ocean: Causes, Effects and Prevention

Pollution of ocean: Causes, Effects and Prevention

Pollution of ocean: Causes, Effects and Prevention
Illustration Courtesy: Pinterest

Ocean pollution has several effects on marine life as well as humans.

Oceans which account for the 70 percent of the surface of our planet, play a pivotal role in the health of our planet and those who inhabit it. Unfortunately, our oceans are polluted. According to the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, billions of pounds of trash and other pollutants enter our oceans every year. The monumental impacts of this are far-reaching. Let’s take a closer look at the various causes of ocean pollution, its effects and the steps we can take to combat it.

Causes of ocean pollution

There are many causes of ocean pollution. Of all the facts, there is one constant – most pollution in our oceans begins on land and is caused by humans. Here are some of the major causes of marine pollution.

Non-point Source Pollution (runoff): Non-point Source pollution comes from a variety of different locations and sources. The result of this is runoff, which occurs when rain or snow moves pollutants from the ground into the ocean. After heavy rainstorm, water flows off roads into the ocean, taking oil left on streets from cars with it.

Intentional discharge: Manufacturing plants in some areas of the world release toxic waste into the ocean, including mercury. According to ocean conservancy eight million metric tons of plastic goes into our oceans every year.

Oil spills, littering and ocean mining: Ships are major contributors to ocean pollution, especially when crude oil lasts for years in the ocean and is difficult to clean up.

Atmospheric pollution: It refers to objects carried by the wind to the ocean.

Deep-sea ocean mining causes pollution and disruption at the lowest levels of the ocean.

Effects of ocean pollution

Ocean pollution has many effects on marine life as well as humans. Sea animals are common victims of ocean pollution. Oil spills for instance, will suffocate marine animals by permeating their gills. Low levels of oxygen in the ocean lead to the death of ocean animals such as penguins, dolphins, whales and sharks. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus in seawater also cause oxygen depletion. It can became a dead zone where no marine life can survive. Pollutants in the ocean make their way back to humans small organisms in gest toxins and are eaten by larger predators, when the toxins in contaminated animals get deposited in human tissue. It can lead to long- term health conditions, cancer and birth defects.

Ocean pollution solutions

Create awareness on the long – term disastrous effects of ocean pollution. Anything we can do to avoid contaminating our seas is a good idea. Here are some ocean pollution solutions that can make a big difference. (1) Reduce chemical fertilizer use; (2) Opt for reusable bottles and utensils; (3) Organize cleanup campaigns; (4) Properly dispose of plastics and trash.

So these are ways that we can reduce pollution of ocean. If we want a pure strong and clean environment, we have to follow the rules.

Azra Batool Dahani

Karachi Sindh


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