Saving Our Oceans Before It Is Too Late

by koreilly3 on September 23, 2015 - 12:44pm

Scientists are sending out a plea for the oceans. The global climate change that humans have been contributing to has started the threat of mass extinction in the oceans. Heating of the oceans causes the acidity to rise which in turn forces ocean wildlife to either migrate to new areas or to try to adapt to the change in environment. 40% of coral reefs have died due to human action and climate change. Massive bottom trawlers scrape away the seabed, tearing apart coral reefs and upturning tons of debris. Today, over 460000 m2 is used for oil mining in the deep ocean. This is a threat to fragile ecosystems at this level by introducing pollution and the potential for spills. Scientists have conducted extensive research with the use of fossil records, fish catches and statistics on container shipping to find that, because the ocean is so vast and adaptable, we still have a couple more decades to try and reverse the immense damage we have done to it. We are told to cut back emissions and not adapt to the conditions we are already living in. We already are in full swing with the conservation of terrestrial ecosystems, so now we need to include the marine ecosystems that are just as important to the well being of our world.


When I first read this article I felt defeated because I knew if people read it, there would still be nothing done about the state of our oceans. Even though this article says we have more time to rescue our oceans than we previously thought, the urge to find new sources of oil and to increase fish catch is too intense to push aside. Although the ocean is a very adaptable body of water, it will still eventually come to an end where it can no longer keep its pH levels at a constant and, consequently, its wildlife will slowly become extinct. In class we talk about property rights and “who overlooks what” in a country. So I began to question what countries actually have legislatures about conserving the oceans. In areas of the ocean that are not owned or regulated by any one or country, how will anything be done in the conservation of its waters and wildlife? Countries will still pollute, dump, over-harvest and destroy sea beds if there are no strict laws put in place, but how can these laws even be passed, and by who?


What do you think could be done to reverse the damage done on the ocean?


Do you think global laws are viable? 



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I am feeling the same way when you say that people are not doing enough to save the oceans and that it is urgent to find solutions if we do not want the damages to be irreversible. I felt even more concerned when I learned how the cruise that I went on this summer was damaging for the environment. My family and I went on this enormous cruise to spend some quality time and have fun, but when I thought about it later, while we were profiting of our vacancy, huge amount of waste were dumped into the ocean. It is when I read Katsioloudis’s article that i learned how these ‘floating’ cities generate important amount of inadequately regulated waste and pollute water.

These big boats, which can contain thousands of passengers, produce more than 11 million gallons of wastewater on a daily basis and not all this water is well treated. Vessel sewage, which is more concentrated than domestic sewage, and gray water are two sources of ocean’s pollutant that affect many ecosystems. They contribute to the degradation of marine environment by creating disease, introducing unnecessary nutriments and pollute coastal environment. They also produce chemical substances due to dry cleaning, photo-processing, paint waste, etc. These hazardous wastes that are as well dump in the ocean can cause death or reproductive failure among fish or other marine animals. It is absolutely nessecary to improve the practices of cruises ships so that they become less harmful for the environement. This is definitely one thing among many that need to change in order to protect our oceans, which like you said, are extremely important.

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