AND ECOSYSTEM LOSS
what extent do human activities affect marine biodiversity and ecosystem loss?
The ocean is
home to millions of species. The loss of marine biodiversity is constantly
diminishing the ocean ecosystem. Life in the ocean is a fundamental component
of climate regulation. For ages, our dependence and carelessness towards oceans
and the species that reside in them now have led to deep crisis.
Kong: It’s great marine
biodiversity that includes about 1000 marine fish species has drastically
deteriorated. The marine ecosystems defy a lot of threats that have had a bad
effect. Scientists anticipate that the local waters are at the verge of
ecosystem collapse, which would have a disastrous effect on marine
Philippines: Climate change and the frequent use of fossil
fuels is polluting the ocean. Climate change is considered a very serious
threat to the oceans. Rising temperatures due to global warming are weakening
marine species. Marine life is also damaged by ocean acidification when surplus
amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes the seawater to become more
Australia is home to The Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system on
Earth which is even visible from outer space. It is incredibly rich and
diverse. It is home to countless species of colorful fish,
mollusks, starfish, turtles, dolphins, and sharks but sadly, The Great Barrier
Reef has been given a black point for its overall health for the fifth year in
a row. The results of the annual report were based on data collected before
this year’s climate change-induced bleaching event that killed about a fifth of
the reef’s coral, suggesting next year’s results will be even worse.
In U.A.E there have been oil spills in the oceans especially at the capital
that is Abu Dhabi. The oils are chemical constituents and are poisonous to few
marine species. The construction of artificial islands has also been impacting
marine life, marine biologists show that the newly-born fish were not able to
survive in conditions along the shores of Dubai due to constant construction
and environmental alterations. Overall the construction of artificial islands
has decreased U.A. E’s aquatic life drastically.
Personally, I have
always tried to make minimal waste. Especially, while visiting beaches I ensure
no plastic or any of such waste is thrown. Recently, I learned that most of us
are unaware of the damages done to the life of sea creatures due to our
negligence. Hence, to raise awareness I have held a few workshops in my school,
explaining what a tiny act of laziness could consequent in. In addition, I have
been putting up posters and talking about this issue on social media as well.
After all it’s not just our planet.
As I’ve already talked
about what is happening, globally and nationally, for a better understanding of
the situations, we need to know the why its happening and what are its
consequences without which we cannot solve the problems.
Analysis of Hong Kong
Fish stocks have
dropped dramatically because of unsustainable fishing practices, regulations
not being strict and a lack of marine protected areas continue to worsen this
situation. Hong Kong began its life as a
fishing village and for years this industry has flourished. But development,
pollution, and over-fishing all took their toll on marine biodiversity.
The Chinese white
dolphin and Finless porpoise that had made home in Hong Kong are now remarkably
endangered. Marine life is drastically going down. At the moment, their marine
ecosystems are still diverse yet they lie on the verge of total collapse.
Furthermore, most of the city is dependent on the fishes for food and trade and
as there are now lesser fishes hence poverty is increasing.
Analysis of Philippines
Use of fossil fuels is warming
the oceans and making the seawater more acidic which means acidification is
taking place as well as global warming. Additionally, too much plastic,
specifically plastic bags are thrown, floating on the sea surface resemble
jellyfish, which are eaten by many species of fish and turtles, eating it is
severely dangerous and has caused marine deaths. Too many fishes are being
fished out which to worsen the situation.
Fishing is already
increasing for years and many species living in the oceans of Philippines are
now endangered such as, The Reef Manta Ray that’s the largest of all rays in
the whole world, Napoleon wrasse a tropical fish, Giant clams, and many more
marine species are on the brink of extinction because of human activities.
Global warming is making the sea unsuitable for a lot of marine species
resulting in, the migration which means habitat is loss.
Analysis of Australia
As a result of oddly
high ocean temperatures, some of the coral on The Great Barrier Reef has
suffered severely. Coral are now starving to death because of the rising ocean
temperatures and the raised levels of acid in the ocean which are causing the
algae to die: their food source. This together with the heat, keeps stressing
the coral until it finally starts to turn white and bleach.
The Great Barrier Reef
is recently being said to be dying. This year, Australia witnessed the most
upsetting mass coral bleaching event that has ever been recorded. The reef is
no longer as strong as it used to be before, and it’s having a hard time coping
with a total of 3 bleaching events in about only 18 years. About 93% of the
reef has been affected by the bleaching, which is currently putting the reef on
the verge of extinction. As it is very weak at the moment, it is said to be
dead. However, there is still hope for it. As The Great Barrier Reef is one of
the most diverse ecosystems, there is a lot of biodiversity loss taking place
there at the moment.
Causes: Oil spills are
taking place at shores and the oils chemical constituents are poisonous to
marine organisms. This can affect organisms from both internal exposures to oil
through digestion or inhalation and from an external exposure through its skin
and eye irritations. Oil has also proven to smother few small species of fish.
Due to the construction of artificial island, marine biologists showed that the
newly-born fish could not survive in conditions along the shores of Dubai due
to constant construction and environmental alterations. It also caused
disturbances in the reproductive cycles of species of fish that were near the
number of marine organisms around U.A.E has been drastically dropping due to
this. Many species to which the shores were suitable no longer are, so they are
now homeless which means habitat is loss. Oil spills have resulted in the death
of many fishes along the shores and as there are fewer fishes, fishermen are
too now at loss, they are either losing jobs or earning lesser income. U.A.E is
also home to Dugong a marine mammal that is endangered and could be at risk for
extinction because of these reasons.
The future of marine
animal populations is determined in great part by two variables: the rate at
which the ocean is warming, and the rate of its exploitation. Where these rates
are low, the chance for adaptation and recovery will be increased. Where they
will continue rising, the loss of marine biodiversity will be severe. If we
continue to throw our waste in oceans, disturb marine ecosystems this will
result in global warming. The future of marine ecosystems looks very
devastating, to start with there are many marine animals that are currently
highly endangered, if we do not give them much attention, this could be their
end, they have a high chance off going extinct in a few years. Reefs are home
to most marine organisms and currently, reefs are getting weaker day by day, so
at this pace, in the near future, they are bound to be found completely dead.
If we keep ignoring the fact that we are killing marine species, the future
will obviously lead to the elimination of the whole marine life. On the other
hand, fishermen will no longer find enough fish to sell or eat. The
food supply of the world in the future will be considerably changed and may
even boost the rate of world hunger due to insufficient stock. The death of
marine organisms will also mean that oil found in the ocean which is made by
marine organisms will stop being produced, hence destroying one of the key
income generators for many countries.
Courses of Action:
Although the marine
ecosystems current condition is getting worse
day by day, there is still hope to reverse all of this only if we give
the attention it needs. If we want to see a healthy ocean free
of pollution and full of life and biodiversity we should firstly: Encourage
sustainable fishing and any other way of fishing should be made illegal as
unsustainable fishing leads to overfishing. The sewage waste thrown in oceans
could first go through water treatment as it pollutes the ocean and this should
become a law in all countries. Taking out oil from oceans should be done more
carefully so no oil spills are caused. We should try reducing global warming by
reducing all carbon emissions and the use of carbon sequestering so the
temperature of our ocean stops decreasing. Threatened and endangered species
and marine habitats should be protected by making sure that all species-at-risk
are fittingly listed for protection and large marine protected areas should be
established all over the world and those already established should be
enhanced. Lastly, the most important thing is raising awareness, telling
everyone what’s happening so they as well try to stop it. If a major chunk of
people do not even know what is happening how can we all stop it?
I previously wasn’t as
aware of how big of an impact human activity has had on marine biodiversity and
ecosystems, through research and conducting different awareness causing
activities. I now realize that marine species aren’t just dying but are being
killed by our hands in more ways than one, some ways that are direct, some that
we did not think would even harm them. If the future of our oceans will be
lifeless we’ll have no one to point fingers but ourselves because each of us in
our ignorant ways did contribute to this. None of us even realize that we are
being completely selfish not just to marine species but also to our own future
generations because the loss of marine life will, in turn, affect our future generations
when they have a lesser food supply and less income is generated. Now that I am
aware of all the facts and figures, I can take part in more initiatives taken
to support this noble cause. Using my school as a platform I have been
successful in creating at least a tiny bit of awareness in my generation.