The ocean faces the threat of ocean destruction on a daily basis. The destruction has the potential to kill off habitats, plants and animals that live in the ocean ecosystem. Here are 17 Causes of Ocean Destruction. Keep reading to get informed how these causes reduce the chance of survival for those in the ocean.
1. Natural disasters
A natural disaster has a huge potential of ruining an ocean habitat in numerous ways. The natural disaster could be a typhoon, tsunami or hurricane. These disasters can cause storm surges and sea floor erosion. As an example, tsunami waves are able to change the whole structure of the sea floor. The seafloor becomes eroded. The eroded sand from the seafloor ends up somewhere else. Other than the changing of topography, invertebrates like worms or snails are also threatened since they’d lose their habitat.
2. Acid Rain
Acid rain can damage ocean too. Throughout the years, acid rain has become more dangerous. More and more toxic chemicals and gases are released into the air. These chemicals are released from vehicles, power stations and industries. The toxic chemicals dissolve into the rain which turns it acidic. The acid rain falls on land but most importantly it also lands on the ocean. This means that the toxic chemicals will then diffuse into the ocean water.
3. Destructive Fishing Methods
Some people do not follow the rules of catching fish in a safe and efficient ways. Instead, they resort to using methods that are harmful and destructive. These methods include trawling and dredging. An even more harmful practice is by using dynamites or poisons. Through all these unsafe fishing methods, plenty of species and shelters are destroyed. Everything near the shores and deep in the oceans receive the negative impact. Humans might enjoy the fish that they successfully catch but the ocean suffers.
4. Ship Equipments
Ships are useful to humans. They help us to go to places separated by the oceans and they also carry important cargos. However, as good as a ship could be, it can cause serious damage to the ocean ecosystem. A ship is equipped with all sorts of equipments such as anchors, hulls and propellers. For example, the anchor could destroy nearby coral reefs or the ocean floor. Other than that, plants or marine animals could get caught in the propellers.
5. Diving Activity
Diving or snorkeling is a fun activity when you’re in the ocean water. There’s a lot to see and there’s a lot to learn from the underwater creatures. But there is a downside to this activity. Some people might no be aware of their movements while diving or snorkeling. Corals are very fragile. People might somehow end up trampling on corals and break them off. This small incidence could turn into a huge devastation when the number of people is a lot.
6. Oil Spillage
Oil is a harmful substance that should never come in contact with ocean water. Each day, there is a high amount of oil leakage in the ocean. The source of the oil leaks could be from passing boats, ships or even offshore drilling. Marine animals and plants are sensitive to this chemical. Some are so vulnerable that they could instantly die. A major oil spillage would be even worse. It could leave some ocean areas to become toxic.
Littering is a serious issue to the ocean. In the long term, it could seriously destruct the whole ocean ecosystem around the world. The most harmful littering is when it is done near the shores or by the beach. People might also litter while they’re on ships or boats. The waves could come and carry the litter away further out to the ocean. Marine creatures might eat plastic, thinking that it’s food but end up dying. The chemicals in the litter could also be toxic.
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8. Installation of Underwater Equipment
Inside the ocean environment, there are numerous pipelines and fiber optic cables being laid on the seafloor. These pipelines and cables help industries to carry out important activities. However, these underwater equipment could potentially disturb the marine species who swim around the area. Moreover, they could also destroy the habitat that was once there before. Pipelines also have the chance of causing leakage. The pollution from the leakage could end up harming everything around them.
9. Sewage Flowing into Ocean
In most places around the world, the sewage flows directly into the ocean. The sewage contains harmful waste and toxic materials since it could be untreated. All the dangerous materials flow straight into the healthy ocean water. As a result, the ocean water becomes dirty and harmful. Nothing from the sewage should even end up in the ocean. The ocean is vulnerable to the different element it receives every single day. It might not have the full capability to neutralise all the toxic sewage.
10. Oil Industry
Every single day, humans depend on fossil fuel to help with their daily routines. Therefore there is demand to increase the amount of fossil fuel. More fossil fuel means more oil industries in the oceans. Most of the oil that we use are inside the sea floor. The process involved to get the oil include drilling and transportation of the oil from places to places. This certainly increases the chance of oil pollution in the ocean.
11. Removing Vegetation
The removing of vegetation near the shore is a common occurrence but the impact could ruin the whole ocean ecosystem. Vegetation such as mangrove trees could be removed due to the need of more land for other purposes. However, once a huge chunk of the vegetation is removed then the damage could be irreversible. The damage includes soil erosion and the destruction of habitat. Many creatures like to make shelter in the vegetation, the shelter is usually at the roots of the vegetation.
12. Additional Development
This particular cause of ocean destruction is related to the previous one which is the removal of vegetation. Each day, a new development occurs along the shoreline of the ocean. The development is needed to increase the number of buildings for hotels or more tourist attractions. Other development could be building roads or bridges. This additional development destroys a huge amount of habitat. Also, it means that more people would come near the ocean environment and they might produce more littering or waste.
Another cause of ocean destruction is deforestation that happens far inside the main land. At first, this might not seem like a problem since it occurs away from the shoreline and nowhere near the ocean environment. But the effect from deforestation ends up damaging the ocean. When a lot of trees are cut, there is a high amount of erosion. All the soil flow into rivers then the oceans when the rain comes. The soil would make the ocean water murky, blocking sunlight that is crucial to marine creatures.
Also read: Endangered Sea Snakes
14. Building Dams and Tidal Barrage
A dam and a tidal barrage are huge structures built near the shorelines or inside the main land where there is a lot of water. The structures are meant to reduce the energy of the water that goes in and out of the bay. However, these structures are slowly ruining the ocean. Due to dams and tidal barrage, the routes for fish migration are blocked. They also reduce the flow of nutrients that are natural and good for the ocean water.
15. Runoff from Land
Agricultural and urban lands are both contributing to the destruction of the ocean. The agricultural areas often use chemicals that will help their crops to grow. These chemicals include pesticides and fertilisers. These chemicals will flow into the ocean water, affecting the salinity of the ocean water. As for the urban lands, sometimes there are chemical run-off from the roads. The chemical would also eventually end up into the river and pollute the ocean.
There are still many mining activities that occur in the main land. These activities could cause a lot of the mineral and soil from mining to flow out into the ocean water through the rivers. Too many mineral and soil going to the ocean is not a good thing. They may cause the ocean water to become too cloudy for sunlight to pass through. Sunlight is an essential part of photosynthesis that many corals and plants depend on in order to live.
17. Toxic Liquids from Factories
A part of the end product that factories produce is toxic liquids. These toxic liquids are man-made chemicals that flow out into the nearby rivers. The rivers would then carry these chemicals into the vulnerable ocean. The marine creatures could consume these chemicals that would cause too much build up in fatty tissues. As a result, the marine creatures would experience organ failures. The toxic liquids could also mess up the ocean water components.
Natural occurrences, such as natural disasters, do play a part in destructing the ocean. But that does not do as much damage as humans. Humans consciously carry out activities that harm the ocean. In the end, if these activities continue to happen then it might be too late to save the ocean.