Our Exposed OceansHow we are destroying our oceans and how we can save them. Ricky Hall CIS 100 MW
The Last Frontier-Oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface.There are over 1.75 million named terrestrialspecies, compared to the around 250,000 namedmarine species.This shows how little our knowledge of the oceansare thus far, and how much there is left to exploreand learn. all donations directed towardsOnly 1% ofenvironmental concerns went to ocean causes.Therefore, the issues concerning the oceans arenot widely known.
Black WatersOver 217 million gallons of oil have been spilt into theocean in the last 10 years just through oil spills , tankerspills, tanker explosions, offshore rig leaks and offshorerig blowouts.There are 600 active offshore oil rigs around the worldtoday.Each one have “day to day” spills and leaks thataccount for 44 million gallons spilt in the oceans eachyearOil as fuel that turns into rain pollution accounts for 144million gallons in the ocean each year
Impact on WildlifeLarge amounts of spilt oil results in large “plumes” under thesurface, stretching for miles.The BP oil spill disrupted a widely used migratory area forwildlife, clogging fish’s gills, suffocating them and killingthousands of birds, fish and mammalsThese effect are catastrophic and the wildlife may neverfully recover.
The Balancing ActA certain amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) is necessary forlife on earth. However, too much can be catastrophic.50% of CO2 is absorbed by the atmosphere, 20% by landand 30% by oceans.Before the Industrial Revolution, there was a harmonicbalance. Since then, humans have added 1.5 million metrictons of C02, leaving the oceans to absorb some 500 billiontons.
Off BalanceThe sea absorbing the added CO2 has had manynegative effects:Sea temperatures have risen at a rate of 1% annually.Meanwhile, also absorbing 80% of the heat added to theclimate system.Warmer water causes volume to expand, and alongwith melting ice caps due to rising temperatures, itscauses sea levels to rise.Global sea level is 8 inches higher than it was acentury ago and continues to rise.With so much CO2, the water takes up too littleoxygen, killing thousands of marine species, and leavingmany dead zones in its wake.Oxygen levels in some areas have dropped as much as20 %%
Coral ReefsDecreased PH levels in the oceans due to the intake of allthis Co2 causes the water molecules to react to thecarbon, increasing the oceans acidity and producing whatis known as Acidification.This acid is eating away and killing coral reefs and oceanbeds at alarming rates. At this continued rate, it is predictedthat all coral reefs will be dead by 2030.25% of all marine life depends directly on coral reefs.Without coral reefs the food chain would bedevastated, and would threaten mass extinctions oflife, from the smallest prey to the largest predators.
All Out of Fish200 million people make a living sustainably fishing and abillion rely on oceans as their primary source of animalprotein. Yet the commercial fisheries threaten that by usingtrawlers to unsustainably catch millions of tons of fish.10 species account for a quarter of all fishery production.9 out of 10 of those species are on the verge of collapseSince 1950 there has been a 90% drop in the numbersof 25 of the oceans largest predators.Scientists say seafood population could be wiped outby the second half of the century.
By-catch and TrawlingTrawlers are enormous fishing nets that drag the bottom of thesea floor to net marketable fish. Bycatch are the marine animalsnot desired by the industry that are discarded in the process.Bottom trawlers can destroy 580 million square miles ofseabed each day. Each year the worlds fleet of bottomtrawlers disturb a seabed area twice the size of the US.Trawlers destroy 16lbs of marine animals for every poundmarketable fish caught.Each year, out of 56.7 million tons landed, 38.5 million tonsare discarded70% of the remaining cod population have been lost tobycatch.
What We Can Do•Spread the word.•Contact your elected government officials.•Maintain your vehicle.•Donate money to environmental efforts for the ocean.•Sign petitions against offshore drilling.•Recycle.•Educate yourself about the oceans, and do your partto help protect it for future generations.
Work CitedDanson, Ted. Oceana: Our Endangered Species and What WeCan Do To Save Them/Ted Danson with Michael D’Orso. RodaleInc. 733 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017.http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/endangered_oceans/index.htmlhttp://waittfoundation.org/endangered-oceans-project