Despite the mammoth size of the ocean, we as humans can still have a significant impact on it. Oil spills from transportation accidents, plastic pollutants and toxic wastes are all destroying the environment called home by an incredible range of diverse and fascinating creatures.
The ocean covers more than 70% of the surface of our planet1. It is more important now than ever to understand the devastation that careless actions such as intrusive tourism are having on marine ecosystems and use that knowledge to demand change and repair damage already done.
Littering and incorrectly disposing of non-biodegradable items into sewage systems has resulted in a serious pollution problem. It is estimated that by 2050, the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans could weigh more than the entire fish population. These items pose a severe health risk to animals who can often mistake plastic as food and die as a result of not being able to digest them.
Marine life is also under threat from overfishing and harvesting purely for the tourism industry. Our very presence in their environment is disrupting ecosystems and disturbing their natural way of life.
On top of this, untreated sewage is regularly disposed of into the water causing a hazard to animals and humans alike.
Ocean conservation organisations are working to inform the general public so that we can all have a better understanding of where things went wrong and how we can start to put it all right. These charities are helping to develop real change and repair the damage caused by ignorance and apathy.
There are also numerous research and conservation programmes funded by these groups to start the process of giving back the oceans to those that call them home. Some organisations are finding better ways to recycle our waste so that it doesn’t end up in the water and campaigning to encourage the world to take part by acting responsibly. Supporting these groups provides an army ready to protect our oceans and the health of every creature residing there.
- United Nations Environment Programme. "Marine Liter: Trash that Kills."
- Chambers, Neil B. "How Infrastructure Makes Water Work for Us." Palgrave Macmillan, 2011
- Ellen Macarthur Foundation