Marine Ecosystems by Rachel and Catherine
The marine ecosystem houses a vast number of species like turtles, whales and types of fish that are slowly going extinct. They aren’t going extinct because of natural reasons, they are going extinct purely because of humans.
Littering and Sewage in the Oceans
The ocean has been a giant waste bin for centuries. Nowadays, some places have recycling and landfills but a lot of litter still gets dumped in the ocean. Waste like: shoes, anything plastic (Eight million tonnes of plastic gets into all the oceans each year, plastic bags can suffocate any marine animal), balloons, glass bottles, packaging (six pack rings for drink bottles can choke animals as well). Almost anything we throw away can get to the oceans. Litter doesn’t just pollute the marine habitats, it also pollutes coastal habitats when waste washes up on beaches. It isn’t just litter that goes to the oceans, sewage does too. Treated sewage (where the sewage is treated so it isn’t as horrible when it goes into the oceans) and untreated sewage (where the sewage is just as it is).Both flow into the ocean (most waste gets into the oceans by pipes or some sort of water transport). 80% of the sewage placed in the Mediterranean sea is untreated which can come to shore and cause beach closures or human disease.
Toxic Chemicals, Pollution and Oil Spills
Toxic chemicals pollute all the oceans and the animals then have to breathe them in such as pesticides, radioactive chemicals, fertilisers and toxic waste. Some of these things enter the oceans from deliberate dumping, but some just find their way to the ocean through rivers and streams. Tiny animals at the bottom of the food chains such as plankton consume toxic waste, fuel residue and other chemicals. Animals, like seals, higher up the food chain, can have contamination levels millions of times higher than the water and polar bears, that eat seals, can have contamination levels up to three billion times higher than the water.
Trawler Fishing and Over Fishing
Trawler fishing is when you drag a trawler over the ocean bed. It destroys all wildlife and plants (things like coral reefs and any fish in a trawlers way can be destroyed) and leaves a barren wasteland on the ocean bed. Over fishing is where parts of the ocean get fished too much, and all the fish in that one area are gone. Next time you eat fish and chips think: `Is it legally caught or is it illegally caught? ` Over fishing occurs when more fish are caught than the population can replace in a short period of time. 90% of large fish are gone due to over fishing. More than 85% of the world’s fish shops have been pushed to their biological limits and in need of very strict management plans to re-establish themselves. For centuries we thought that our oceans would never run out. Scroll down the page a bit to donate to help stop over fishing. https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/overfishing.
What can YOU do to help stop the damage?
To help oceans, you can donate to help stop overfishing or to just generally help the marine ecosystem with: http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/blue_planet/problems/pollution/, https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/illegal-fishing and https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/overfishing. If you want to find out more about what you can do to save the oceans, follow these links (also follow these links if you want to donate.