Oceans cover more than 70% of our planet. And these mysterious waters hold a lot for us – the wildlife, the picturesque reefs, and colourful flora.
Let’s spare a moment to look back at the harm we have done to the pristine waters.
1. A pilot whale died after ingesting more than 80 plastic bags.
A short-fin male pilot whale died in Southern Thailand after ingesting 80 plastic bags and packaging becoming the latest high-profile incident of marine life forced to live in oceans littered with human trash.
2. A garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean has stretched to almost twice the size of France.
There’s a mass of floating rubbish in the Pacific Ocean weighing around 87000 tons and consisting of more than 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic. About 80 percent of the plastic trash that makes up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is believed to have originated from land-based activities.
3. Ocean ‘dead zones’ have doubled in number every decade since 1960s.
Dead zones are those portions of the oceans which lack sufficient amount of oxygen to support the marine life. They are mainly caused by irresponsible industrial pollution, runoff from agriculture, and human sewage entering the oceans
4. The beautiful coral reefs are dying and we might lose many of them by 2030.
Coral reefs are rich biodiversity hotspots in the oceans. Careless tourism, coral mining for commercial purposes, and pollution have caused some irreversible damage to them.
5. Ocean acidification due to increased carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere.
The rate at which we are pumping carbon dioxide into our atmosphere through deforestation and fossil fuel emissions is a huge concern for the oceans. Carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean waters which in turn inhibits the growth and survival of the marine organisms.
6. Overfishing has caused major changes in the marine ecosystem.
Overfishing can wreak havoc to marine ecology and completely disrupt the food chain. Unsustainable fishing practices over the last few decades have pushed our oceans to a point where they may now be on the verge of collapse.
7. 90% of the sea birds are dying due to the consumption of floating plastic garbage in the oceans.
Birds feed on plastic floating on the water, mistaking it for food, and over time this ingestion leads to death.
8. Offshore oil drilling is leading to the death of turtles, dolphins and other marine organisms.
Oil destroys the insulating and water-repellent properties of the marine animals, exposing them to harsh environment.
9. In a rare incident, a seal pup died due to the clogging of plastic wrapper in its intestines.
Seals are intelligent animals that have the ability to distinguish between plastic and prey. Even they are dying due to the deadly epidemic of plastic pollution.
It’s high time we realize what we are doing to the world’s oceans, knowingly or unknowingly.