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20 Threats to Marine Ecosystems – Solutions

by Ayu Mesdya

An ocean is a place for all marine biodiversity and also the ocean ecosystems. Year by year there are many activities by human and it increases those cause threats. So, what are the 20 threats to ocean ecosystems? Here, we will inform you the 20 threats to ocean ecosystems. Okay, we have to start from this, below here they are the 20 threats to ocean ecosystems :

1. Overfishing in the Ocean

Fishermen are one of the livelihoods that until now still in demand. However, some of them in catching their fish do things that even destroying marine ecosystems, such as using trawlers or fishing by boat with large nets that lead to overfishing. Do overfishing will have an impact on humans and marine ecosystems. What will happen? If humans do overfishing with certain species, this will make the fish is a threat of extinction.

Not only that, by making overfishing we automatically damage the ecosystem in the sea, destroying the physical environment of marine life, and distorting the whole food chain in the oceans. If the food chain is damaged, the consequences will vibrate up and down to all living organisms that are in the chain food at sea.

2. Acidification of the Ocean

Ocean acidification is caused by Co2 which is soluble in seawater. Ocean acidification is often expressed in pH which is a measure of acidity and PH below 7 is considered acid. Some researchers suggest that the average sea water level has fallen by about 0.1 units. This means that ocean acidification increases by approximately 25% and this will change 10 times faster than the time in the last 55 million years. Ocean acidification is expected to occur more quickly in temperate or tropical regions.

As with some corals in California, some corals are corrosive. The impact of ocean acidification is different in species, some algae can use CO2 to increase photosynthesis and its growth rate. However, in other species such as mollusks, corals and some varieties of plankton will be in danger. Where in the case of coral reefs, for example, this makes them experience changes in growth, development, and survival in response to ocean acidification.

3. Ozone Depleting

Ozone is the colorless gas present in the atmospheric stratosphere where ozone plays a role to protect us from light ultraviolet, harmful sunlight. This radiation can cause various environmental problems including global warming and health issues for all living organisms, including marine ecosystems.The main causes of ozone depletion are low temperatures, increases in chlorine radar, bromine gas, production and emissions chlorofluorocarbons (CFC). One of the worst adverse effects on marine ecosystems is on plankton.

Where plankton plays an important role in the food chain and oceanic carbon cycles. Several studies have shown that ozone depletion is more likely to change the composition of living organisms at sea level rather than reducing their overall mass. In addition to plankton, a number of young fish, shrimp, and crabs are also threatened due to ozone depletion.

They will die before reaching their reproductive age. Less food will be available for adult fish and other higher marine life forms and could lead to a loss of 45% of primary production at sea. If the ozone depletion is getting bigger, human beings can’t consume fish, because their production is decreasing and the fish will become extinct.

4. Trawling and dredging

Human activities like trawling and dredging give direct and indirect effects to ocean ecosystems. The activities that direct to ocean ecosystems are killing the population of some species in the ocean and some fishes loss of habitat cause of the destruction of the seafloor. Besides the indirect effects are potential changes in the flow of materials and energy through ecosystems and the balanced among the food chains of the ocean.

On the other hand, the indirect effects can be affected by predators, prey competitors of target species and overall seafloor community structure.

5. Pollution from Cruise Ships

Cruise ships that carry millions of passengers from one point to another. Onboard facilities such as swimming pools, cinemas, restaurants, shops, laundries and everything. All the activities on board generate a hundred of tons of waste of every kind.

Some of them run-off into the seas and oceans piled by this ships. The directs effects of the pollution from cruise ships are made harmful to species in the ocean, fishes, coral reefs and other marine life.The ocean ecosystem will be damaged by this kind pollution from cruise ships, the food chains of seas will be threatened and also the mammals, like whales.

6. Marine Debris

Marine debris is any waste from glass or bottles, aluminum, cans, and also plastic bags. The wastes come from landfills and when is flow into nearby rivers that would be lead to the sea. Marine debris directly impacts to the marine life, in samples of dead and captured seabirds and turtle.

Besides it also can have damaging effects on marine habitats, such as coral reef and seagrass destruction. The impacts of marine debris are not only for ocean ecosystems. The impacts go through to human health, consume fishes that contamination marine debris that make the threat to a human.

7. Habitat Destruction

Marine habitats can be divided into coastal areas and open ocean. Most marine life is found in coastal habitats, even though it’s only seven percent of the total ocean area. Some marine organisms like corals, kelp, mangroves, and seagrass are ecosystem which creates further habitat for other organisms. Habitat destruction can cause such as dredging, bomb fishing, mining activities and overfishing.

Habitat destruction is probably the greatest threat to the various life in the ocean. Habitat destruction also decreases the range of organism populations. Not just population of organisms but also the environment is damaged and also changes the ocean ecosystem.

8. Less of Mangrove Forest

Nowadays mangrove forest has been lees, you know mangrove forest is an important thing that we must keep. Mangrove forest as a buffer zone between land and sea, it protects the land from erosion. Breeding and nursery grounds are the actions of a variety of marine animals, it’s happening here. Mangroves purify the water by absorbing impurities and harmful heavy metals. It helps us to breath a clean air by absorbing pollutants in the air.

Moreover, Mangroves forest is also a place for the harbor of variety lifeforms such as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and even mammals. If there are no mangrove again it will be big problems’; coastal erosion.

9. Tourism

Tourism can cause pollution as any other industry; air pollution, noise, emission, littering and many more. Noise pollution from airplanes, cruise ship, cars or buses causing annoyance, stress and even hearing loss to marine mammals, especially in sensitive areas.

Furthermore, construction facilities for tourism facilities such as accommodation, water supplies, restaurants and recreation facilities can involve sand mining, beach and sand dune erosion, soil erosion, and it can lead loss of wildlife habitats and deterioration of scenery.

10. Bleaching of Coral Reefs

Coral bleaching is one effect of ocean acidification or global warming. If this happens, it does not only have negative impacts on coral communities but also fish and human communities. Coral changes also affect the species that depend on fish and invertebrates that rely on live coral for food, shelter or habitat. The coral changes make species killed and increases mortality rates. You may want to know about Causes of Coral Bleaching.

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What Else?

So, what else threats to ocean ecosystems? Our behavior in daily life can make threats to ocean systems, below here is activity in our daily life and it can be threats to our ocean ecosystem. They are :

  • Don’t throw your plastic or waste away at beach or coastal area, it makes a threat to our ocean ecosystem. The chemical of plastic can make fishes dead and while we consumed that fish we also get the impacts too.
  • Besides organic waste, it’s also a threat to our ocean ecosystem, such as algae blooms that may produce toxins and killing other species.
  • Pollution and gas are several threats to our ocean ecosystems, the impacts are not just to ocean ecosystem but also others organisms that live on it. Nowadays there is energy that most friendly and we can use that to change our fuel.
  • Other air pollution that enters the coastal areas and oceans all of the animals, plants, and environments will be contaminants by toxic.
  • Washing, in daily life we always do this. The chemical of detergent is could make threats to our ocean. How is it work? If the chemical of detergent filled in the water, it can make fishes dead also the environment too.
  • If you are a fisherman, please stop fishing with bomb fish. It is also harmful to our ocean ecosystem, you destruction their habitats and also their life. This way is illegal but some fishers still do at this.
  • While sunlight touches the greenhouse it will impact global warming. This impact makes a threat to our ocean ecosystem. The water will hotter and makes coral bleaching. Some animals like turtles, the changing of climate can make threaten population survival of them.
  • Pesticides are one of the water pollutants and that can make a threat to the water ecosystem. The impact can cause damage to un-targeted animals, plants and food chains in the water.
  • Other water pollution from several factories is also threat to our ocean ecosystems. Some pollution from factories run off to the ocean and it will kill fishes, plants and also their environment.
  • Shipping by cruise ships, release toxic chemicals to ocean or oils can kill the animals, plants, and ecosystems in the ocean. Not only that, it also threatens ports and near shipping routes.

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What The Solution of these?

If you want to make our ocean better places, we must change our behavior with respects to nature and use the friendly products. Recycle the plastics and organic waste become bioenergy is the one way to reduce pollution. You can reduce carbon footprint by carpooling, walking or riding a bike, using reusable shopping bag than plastics bag.
storing food in reusable containers.

Don’t buy jewelry or other items that made from marine life. Being a volunteer to clean-up beach area at your nearby, join an organization that protects ocean are a solution to protect our ocean from the treats. Hopefully, this article may useful for you, protect our ocean for our lives in the future.

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