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Ocean Natural Resources List – Types and Problems

by Sekar Puspa

When you think about ocean resources, you may think about the great things hidden underneath the ocean. In fact, as the earth provides the larger amount of the ocean than the land, we need to know the great ways to manage the ocean resources. As the ocean occupy more than 70% of planet’s surface, we are responsible for protecting ocean as it has the most valuable natural resources in the world.

At this point, billion people depend on the fish consumption which is one of the ocean natural resources. There, fishermen caught tons of fish every year to fulfill the demand of fish consumption. For instance, people need to consume cod, tuna, and salmon to gain protein nutrient to the body.

As the consequence, now we will talk about what are the ocean natural resources, how ocean plays a role in supporting human’s life and how to protect ocean resources properly.

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natural resources, ocean resourcesTalking about the ocean is as same as talking about the fish. As we all have known the ocean provides great natural resources of fish.

The ocean is such a great one which supplies abundant of living resources. There are many kinds of fish and shellfish such as crabs, lobsters, and oysters.

Fish and shellfish become the important commodities for many countries. These living resources take the main part in human’s life as it becomes one of the largest food consumption in the world.

As a result, demand for fish consumption becomes higher and higher, therefore, this situation has become a serious problem for both people and the fish.

Fisheries Activities

Besides, when you buy seafood like salmon, crabs, or even squids, have you ever been thinking about how it caught or how it farmed? This simple answer may make you think twice before buying seafood in the next coming day. While you are eating the fish as your daily food, million fish varieties are caught by the fishermen. The fishing method that fishermen used may vary.

Some fishermen would use the nets and fishing lines trail while others use sonar, satellites and other advanced technology. Indeed, every method has the different result and these fishing operations make a sustainable chain with the ocean living resources.

Consequently, the problems occur in the ocean life such as the loss of living organism habitat due to the fishing practices and activities called fisheries. Besides,  the bad fisheries makes a bad food chain along the ocean life. As the consequence, to deal with this problem, we need the right fishing practice to connect the fish supply chain.

Though the fish is caught not only for the consumption, still the number of fish caught is increased year by year and China is the one which holds the main role in it. For this reason, the number of fish in the ocean decreased.
In case we face the exploitation of fish stocks, then it can be a possible thing that we may be the last generation to eat fresh fish from the ocean.

Therefore, now we should concern about the ocean life and finds a way to prevent that someday ocean could be running out of fish. Indeed, the control of the fisheries is needed to control the ecosystems as overfishing affects other life’s aspect including in economics, social, and management practices.

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Coral Reefs

natural resources, ocean resourcesOne of great ocean natural resources is the coral reefs. Coral reefs are the rocky mound which is the accumulation form of calcium carbonate in the sea. They are found in many parts of the world, usually in shallow areas. There are three types of coral reefs, there are fringing reefs, barrier reefs, and atolls.

To grow, coral reefs need sunlight so that it is mostly occurs in tropical oceans. More than just beautiful creatures, coral reefs also are a home for thousands of fishes and corals species. Many species of fish, algae, and microorganism live in coral reefs.

Further, seaweed and plankton provide foods for fishes in coral reefs. Indeed, they become important ecosystems to for living organism in the ocean.

Besides, coral reefs are classified into three types. Derived from Darwin’s theory, the ideal ecological conditions of the new island’s shorelines make fringing reefs grow well. Then, the reefs probably changed into barrier reefs as the island began to subside into the sea.

As the consequence, they formed into an atoll since the island has disappeared below the sea surface and leaving the circle form of coral in the central lagoon. However, you must be aware and be careful in identifying the types as each characteristic of the reefs may quite similar with other types.

On the other hand, find more information on coral reef types below.

  • Fringing Reefs

The word “coral reefs” refers to a community in ocean life. It is also known that coral reefs are formed since many thousand years ago. Then, as a matter of fact, once it is broken, it takes a very long time to rebuild the structure again. In the same way Fringing Reefs often called as Shore Reefs as they grow directly from a shore since centuries ago. Moreover, fringing reef is the most common of three major types of coral reefs.

However, in recent years, there is a depletion of ringing reefs in the world due to the presence of increasing human populations in the coastal area, pollution, sedimentation, and intensive agriculture practices.

  • Barrier Reefs

Coral reefs are the formation of the coral polyps.  The process takes the gradual cementing of the hard skeletons of tiny living organisms. These tiny living organisms have zooxanthellae in their tissue which produces oxygen by doing photosynthesis and producing glucose, glycerol, and amino acids.

They also help to produce protein, carbohydrate and calcium carbonate to support coral reefs structure. Not only for that, they result in protection to algae and give the bright colors to the coral polyps. At this point, these spectacular ocean creatures have the main role in marine habitats.

Then, the next coral reefs type we will talk about is the barrier reefs. This type of coral reefs is the extensive reef complexes that parallel ashore. In addition, they are separated from the shore by the lagoon. Barrier reefs are not so common compared to other types of coral reefs. Barrier reefs are a rare coral reefs type as there are only 2 barrier reefs found in Carribean Region. Yet, they can also be found in the tropical Atlantic and in Pacific. Further, they have the largest reef in New Caledonia’s NE coast within 400, miles long and a 108 miles wide of the lagoon.

  • Atolls Reefs

The last type of coral reefs is Atolls. This type associated with the roughly circular oceanic reef system surrounding a large and deep central lagoon. Next, Atolls occur in mid-ocean including in South Pacific. Also, these reefs formations are common in the Caroline and Marshall Islands and in Maldive and Chagos island groups.

Consequently, coral reefs also have the benefit of living resources in the ocean. It is being a natural habitat for most of the fish and this is beneficial for the fishing industry. Even, fishes keep their eggs in coral reefs to protect them from predators.

Moreover, coral reefs also help in making the seabed stable by reducing impact storms and surges. Moreover, the stronger wave patterns and currents, then the more reef structure can be found.  Besides, not only providing benefit for fishes but also coral reefs are useful to human’s life As researchers have shown that coral reefs are potential to treat cancers and other certain diseases.

However, coral reefs face some problems, too. More than half parts of coral reefs in the world are being threatened. And this situation leads to the losing of some organisms habitats. One of the causes of coral reefs loss is the climate change. When the ocean temperature is higher, it affects the coral reefs appearance such as black band, white band, and white spots. These conditions refer to the disease of coral reefs or we can call it “bleaching”.

Other threats that attack coral reefs is the humankind. Overfishing or fishing using harmful substances like dynamite can break the coral reefs. This practice not only breaks the coral reef populations but is also harmful to other ocean living organisms. Even, scuba diving is one of the things that is harmful to the coral reefs.

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Energy Resources

It could not be denied that we need more energy resources to support human’s life. At this moment, researchers try to find alternative energy resources using kinds of plants. In another hand, the ocean provides renewable energy resource that is effective to use.

As a result, we can use waves power, ocean tidal power, and the different temperature of the ocean as the energy power. We will not have any worry to use ocean energy resources since it has no ecological problems such as global warming and pollution.

  • Waves Kinetic Energy

The first energy resources that we can explore from the ocean is by using the kinetic movement of waves. The energy comes from waves can be use as a turbine power. Still, this also faces some problems such as how the proper installations which need advanced technology to the water surface.

  • Tidal Energy

The next ocean energy resource is the presence of tidal energy. This one depends on the high and low tides of the ocean. It exploits the tidal movements or the rise and fall in sea levels. Besides, tidal energy has many advantages as renewable energy resource since ocean provides the largest surface in the world.

  • Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

The last option we can have to use the ocean natural resources as the energy resource is to make the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion or OTEC. This method regenerates the electricity by using the different temperature of the ocean. The bigger temperature differences then the greater these energy resources work. Though this power needs a lot of costs, this advanced technology should be taken into account.

To conclude, ocean energy resource provides alternative ways to support more energy needs. As a result, we should develop then though this application has not been as popular as other alternative energy resources. Indeed, as the demand of the energy has a rapid growth, then we need more than alternative energy resources to live in.

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Oil and Gas Resources

In fact, we can utilize ocean natural resources as they are very beneficial. There are oil and gas which are the form of remains of ocean living organisms. Natural oil and gas formed from the accumulation of large deposits of the remains of marine algae and plants. Different with three options above, oils and gasses are not the renewable energy sources. Indeed, they need million years to be replaceable. So that it is advised to use them wisely to prevent from the scarcity.

As a matter of fact, they become important commodities that mostly found near shore. Consequently, around a third of the oil and gas extracted comes from offshore sources. The production systems to obtain oil and gas use the advanced technology installed with great techniques and platforms to reach the certain ocean depth.

This massive production becomes higher while the amount of oil is decreasing. It becomes a big issue since oil and gas supplied by the ocean resources has been utilized in many life’s aspects including to be electric power, industrial use, commercial use, and for vehicle use. The exploration of offshore oil and gas shows the increased growth in this recent year. Then, this is one of the marine energy exploitations.

Consequently, the production of these mineral resources affects to both the environment and the global economy. For instance, the larger production of oil in the ocean can occur the oil contaminating in ocean habitats and organisms. In contrast, the solution comes up as the European countries have demonstrated the intensive aerial surveillance of coastal waters. Indeed, with a right protection for marine life, we still can obtain the benefits of ocean natural resources as well.

Mineral Resources

Given that ocean is a very large space and even the average depth of the ocean is more than 2.5 miles makes us wondering what actual things that are hidden under the deep sea. As a result, we can explore ocean natural resources including oil and gas form from the remains of ocean living organisms. Ocean supplies plentiful of mineral resources due to the geological processes fro the formation of mineral resources.

Mineral resources is the formation of the sediments which contain iron, copper, gold, tin, and other minerals. Therefore, people do mining to explore the mineral resources in the ocean including salt, golf, titanium and even diamonds. These mineral resources are found in large scale and being exploited as they have a great selling price.

In the same way, manganese nodules known as the metal source including iron, manganese, nickel and copper. Nodules provide large quantity in supplying these potential mineral resources. Furthermore, the ocean has been a treasure of placer gold, titanium, tin, and diamonds. These kinds of mineral resources are also formed by the sediments on the shore. The production of sand as mineral resources is also useful for human’s life.

Ocean also provides mineral resources as the food consumption for the people. As the consequence, salt, potassium, and magnesium are the food form of mineral resources. Salt which is the sodium chloride be in high percent in the ocean. As same as the salt, potassium occurs in large quantities in the ocean.  Next, manganese which is the natural extraction substance from sea water also becomes one of great natural ocean mineral resources. Indeed, they accumulate into a large scale and occur in the deep of the ocean.

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Earth provides great natural resources to be used by the people. Though there are some issues with the environment that can impact the natural resources. It might come from pollution, air pollutants including sulfur dioxide and hydrocarbons, chemical dumped in the ocean, and plastic waste. Therefore, to protect the ocean from pollution and exploitation is our duty.

One thing that we should do is to restore the productivity of the ocean. As some varieties of ocean natural resources are not the renewable source, thus, we need more effort to keep them safe. For instance, we should do a good sustainable fishing chain to supply the great amount of fish in the ocean. Hence, by doing that we have succeeded in supporting the balance in ocean living life.

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