Ocean plays a very important and basic part of this life. It covers approximately 70% of the earth surface with an average depth of 2.4 miles or 3,800 meters. The ocean habitats depends a lot on human and mother nature includes temperature, climates, the shorelines, mudflats, barrier islands, salt marshes, mangrove forest basically the shoreline segment.
It’s geography and other physical factors also plays major influence on specific marine ecosystems. Ocean plants such as coral reefs, estuaries, salt mashes, mangrove forest, seaweeds, marine algae, sea grasses could be found throughout the world, but would it still be there with these massive destruction of ocean habitat that happens for the last couple of years?
Human and mother nature share blame in Marine Disasters or ocean habitat loss. Here are 25 destruction of ocean habitat
Ocean Pollution is the first major cause of ocean habitats loss. Further and long term damage spread everywhere with its toxic substance include chemicals, pesticides, motor oil contaminates the ocean and destroy ocean habitats. Even anchors dropping, noise and wave disturbance could endangered whales and any other sea mammals.
Oil and gas exploration and drilling has been known for a while to be one of major cause of sea habitat destruction. One of many causes of marine environmental issue is because oil and gas exploration are located under the sea floor and the drilling and logging activities, even prospecting and transporting could damage sensitive marine areas and disturb marine life
- Dredging ship channels
Wetland are dredged and filled in to accommodate industrial, agricultural and urban development. More than 90% of world trade being conducted via shipping. Shipping impact marine environment in many ways which its lanes and ports.
- Draining of wetlands
Draining wetlands creates threat for local aquatic flora and fauna. It will upset the natural balance of ecosystems. The idea of draining wetlands globally is to develop agriculture industry. Not to mention agriculture industry is responsible for 65% water withdrawal from earth, it is also left local environment with polluted and insufficient sewage
- Coastal development
Coastal area are very important part of economic activity. In many cases, coastal area get over-developed without considering the side impatc of marine ecosystems and habitats. More coastal area are urbanized with infrastructure, while it helped many people in that matter, it also dangered ocean and becomes major cause of habitat loss. Coastal development results in erosion with excess nutrients from fertilizer and domestic sewage. I can also block sunlight and deplete the water of oxygen.
- Hurricanes and typhoons
One of many Ocean Problems comes from mother nature. Hurricane and typhoons are both comes from powerful storm that could wreck marine ecosystem as well. Hurricane in coastal area could bring warmer water at the surface with cooler water from further down the water column. Some species can sense when danger is approaching but some other such as Ocean plants could not and they won’t survive.
- Storm surges
The chaos made by massive storm surges are a bit similar with the hurricanes and typhoons impact. Marine animal especially the slow swimming and territorial fish will get smashed by the wave. Storm and hurricanes changes sea salinity and there’s only less dissolved oxygen in the water that create danger even to the survive species
Massive tsunamis wave get marine life washed ashore, even the large animal. Most of the species that is not used to get exposed to air will die because they are unable to breathe. While the other sea animals whose lucky to survive will left stranded. Know further information about Causes and Effects of Tsunami You Must Know.
- Chemical effluent
Persistent organic pollutant creates chemical toxin such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), the pesticide DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), flame retardants that used in mattresses and kid’s clothing are dumped at the ocean as industrial waste. There are also iron and zinc comes from manufacturing process. Not to mention the poisonous cyanide fishing add toxins to ocean ecosystems. Chemical creates imbalances in ocean habitats, destroy plants and bacteria flourish, causing disease and disruption in entire ecosystem
- Cities, factories and farms waste
Laws banning the dumping of cities, factories and farms waste, sewage and chemicals into ocean creates less sea pollution and having positive effect
- Inland dams
Man made inland dams decrease natural nutrient-rich runoff, ruin fish migration routes and cut off freshwater flows, increasing salinity water level. Fish food organism will be highly affected and many marine species will get affected directly by changes of its habitat and causing disease and increase mortality
- Destructive fishing technique
Direct contact with fragile wetland and reef ecosystems. Bottom trawling, dynamiting, poisining destroy entire ecosystems near shore and in the deep sea as well. It has been reported that up to 13% of global fisheries have ‘collapsed’ due to overexploitation of fish stocks. A large net with heavy weight is dragged catching everything it encounters including endangered fish and vulnerable deep-sea corals. Due to its over weight large net, it can destroy seafloor habitats which provides nutrition and shelter to so many sea animal deep across the bottom of the sea
- Climate change
Drastic measure will be needed to any ocean crises created by Global Warming in Ocean, rising temperature makes oceans absorb extra heat which could greatly impact the life cycle of sea animals from corals to whales. Earth temperature rises cause excess melting of ice caps and glaciers, raising sea level and flooding estuaries. You can also see Effect of Sea Level Rise. Not to mention the excessive atmospheric carbon dioxide are being absorbed by the oceans and the gas dissolves into carbolic acid. It is caused mainly by the burning of fossil fuel and will impact the ability or marine animal including plankton organism to create shells.
Clearing mangrove forest for shrimp production and scraping entire ecosystems off seamounts creates erosion, sending silt into shallow waters that can block the sunlight coral reefs need to thrive. Deforestation actually impact a lot of nature habitats and the pros only gained by industrial development
Eurotophicatoin is a situation where fertilizers are washed off from the land and find their way into marine environment and it caused the content of nitrate and phosphate in the water. Unfortunately this means the increasing development of algae which prevents the sun from reaching other water plants deep down and plant perish in no time. Lack of oxygen making less and less marine life. It is called the marine dead zones phenomenon. It has been said that there are close to 500 dead zones covering more than 245,000 km2 globally, equivalent to the UK’s surface
- Inadequate protection
Awareness is one thing that we should acknowledge and spread as much as we could to make people share responsibility of its marine ecosystems. Common people should try to protect by all means and government making laws that legislated to protect them. A study shows that in the entire world, there’s only 3.4% of the world’s ocean have been designated as protected. It should be much higher because its high risk ocean destruction from tourism, recreation and fishing activities
Acidification of the ocean related to carbon dioxide which forms carbolic acid in oceans. The greater acid level the less able sea organism living its reproductive process. There are some cases when the water’s PH is lowering more than ever and ruin sea cycle life
- Sea changes
Due to contaminated water by higher concentration of carbon dioxide, the level of impact in the aquatic environment also being at risk. It basically impact marine life cycle. Small Climate of the Ocean changes will effect plankton which is one of the most important feed source to many marine animals
- Careless tourism and development
Tourism brings greater economic environment to its local people, but it also brings millions of boaters, snorkelers and scuba divers into direct contact fragile wetland and destroy coastal ecosystems unconsciously
Bad aquaculture include harming wild fish, increase parasite loads and the extreme need to catch wild fish will worsen ocean degradation. People needs to be more educated about how bad the aquaculture is, about raising awareness how we can protect marine species and gain its benefits without being a danger to them all
- Excess amount of sediments
plankton, mangroves and sea are being destructed because of construction and mining along sea coast that brings great deal of silt and soul and make fish are unable to eat and coral polyps are unable to grow. The change of habitat will increase mortality, spread infectious disease and stunted growth
- Reef bleaching
Reef bleaching occurs due to lots of factors include increasing water temperature. Warmer temperature makes bleaching event more common that cause coral to expel the internal microorganism
- Pressure on other marine species
Mari culture or one of many methods of farming marine organism is not sensibly developed, which can affect not only marine life but also the forest and the productivity of habitat
- Medical research
This is not major factor of ocean destruction, but somehow medical research currently fighting various forms of cancer and certain disease by focusing on sea animals such as sponges, soft corals and tunicates. This is not going to be a big deal if it is deal with abundance
- Population decline
The entire ecosystems depends on each other, so if there’s a population decline going to affect another species as well. Hunting and over fishing are known to be the reason of population decline.
There are at least 5 things that could help with this situation, include :
- Marine protected areas – Marine protected areas such as sanctuaries, fisheries management areas, state conservation areas and wildlife refuges helps to protect habitats, endangered animal species and restore health of marine ecosystems from chaotic habitat and species loss.
- Marine reserves – Marine reserves considered more effective than marine protected areas as it is provides higher level protection by prohibiting fishing, mineral extraction and many other habitat-altering activities.
- Land use and development regulation – While an careful and integrated approach to land use and management needed to be done with science based knowledge of how it will impact and protect coastal areas. Support ocean restoration organisation to fight its destruction and degradation can change things for good. We can start by influence change in our community and research about legalize policy that could work and do contact local governments to let them know that you support marine conservation project.
- Monitoring and reporting – Monitoring and reporting idea are to gives citizen the idea of responsibility monitoring water quality through photography and providing information to local policy makers. So everyone needs to work together. With controlling pollution and controlling fishing, we can explore and appreciate the ocean without ruining its marine ecosystems.
- Zoning – The cooperation between local, state and national government will make positive impacts on how to protect marine habitats from tourism activity, fishing industry, conservative effort using various level based on knowledge high awareness of marine life.
Finally, those are complete explanation about how many destruction of ocean habitat which still happened. Hope that after you reading this article, we, together, can fight to decrease amount of ocean habitat’s destruction to keep the sustainability of ocean life.