Did you know that 80% of the pollution in our oceans originates from land? With runoff, being one of the biggest sources, resulting from pollutants being washed into the oceans during rainfall and sometimes heavy winds. The effects of the pollution to our oceans is quite noticeable already in some areas. Especially coastal areas because of their proximity to land. And what land animal is responsible for all these? You guessed it. HUMANS!
As long as humans have become self-aware and “civilized”, we have treated our planet and all the resources contained therein as “ours” just like any possession or property. The idea that humans have sovereignty over all other living things has led to a less responsible use of the planet’s resources.
It is common knowledge that we humans have severely polluted the planet, and with our planet consisting of over 70% water, it was easy to assume that the oceans could be a sort of infinite dumping ground.
Maybe we didn’t think our vast oceans could actually be polluted, maybe we just didn’t care. Maybe we didn’t realize the consequences of our actions, both long term and short term. This is the time to awaken from our delusion.
Oil spills are also a major and well known source of pollution to the oceans. Most people believe that oil spills are caused by industries, and therefore should be handled by industries. Although this isn’t entirely wrong, actually, oil spills are just a small part of the pollution in our oceans. Our day to day activities also cause pollution to the oceans, particularly our incessant use of plastics and other non-biodegradable materials which then end up in the oceans, endangering marine life and knocking the global ecosystem out of balance.
Not only this, pollution also affects our food. Heavy metals and other contaminants often find their way into the marine life, and when these animals are used as seafood, these pollutants can cause serious problems to people. Some of these pollutants have also killed a lot of our marine creatures and endangered lots more.
To truly understand just how far we have gone in damaging the ecosystem by polluting the oceans, you need to understand the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The Great Pacific Garbage patch is the largest accumulation of plastics in our oceans. An estimated 1.15 to 2.4
1 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans each year. And since most plastics float, they can be transported over great distances by the ocean currents and finally converge at patches in the ocean. The great pacific garbage patch is said to be the largest of these patches and if nothing is done, it will only continue to increase. The great pacific garbage patch is estimated to be around 1.6 million square kilometers, an area thrice the size of France!
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