The World Of Water

March 1, 2010
By Anonymous

Earth is 71.1% water. So you would think that the world would be overflowing with fish and other marine life. But it’s not. Sea life in the 4 oceans, Arctic, Atlantic, Indian and Pacific, is in danger from many causes like pollution, overfishing and invasive species. This is causing many species to become endangered like the humpback whale, the Hawaiian monk seal, and the southern sea otter. “The Heinz Center Steering Group for the Year of the Ocean has concluded that there is an urgent need for a systematic and comprehensive review of ocean and coastal policies and programs. Unless action is taken now, significant benefits to the economy and quality of life will be lost, and the United States will fall behind other nations in using and conserving the oceans and their resources. An integrated vision, and a plan for achieving it, must be developed for U.S. marine areas, resources, and activities. A restructuring of national, regional, and local mechanisms for managing oceans and coasts may be necessary, along with new investments in science, education, and management.” This quote is from the John Heinz III Center for science, economics, and the environment and how they feel the U.S. is doing on their conservation of sea life. This stamen supports my opinion that marine life is declining in all bodies of water all over the world.

Pollution is one of the main causes towards the declining population of sea life on Earth. Between 75% and 80% of marine pollution is caused by land, particularly agriculture. 30% of this is from the atmosphere. Around 12% of the pollution is caused by maritime transport. This can cause major problems for marine populations. I think that if we can cut down on our polluting, we can save so many endangered species. Sadly, over half of the hydrocarbon discharge comes from continents, 5% comes from oil tanker accidents, 20% comes from waste and other ship-related accidents, 4% from sea exploitation and 11% to 15% is due to natural causes. Pollution is destroying marine habitats and forcing species to move out.

Overfishing is another problem that is harming the marine population. Even though fish is a vital food source for people, overfishing is depleting fish species everywhere. People all over the world are taking advantage of the lack of overfishing restrictions and they are trying to get the most fish. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) they estimate that over 70% of the world’s fish species are either fully exploited or depleted. If I were a fish, I’d be pretty scared right now.

Invasive species are also taking a toll on innocent water critters. In the Great Lakes, non-native species are taking over. Zebra mussels, Asian Carp, and Sea Lamprey’s are the some of the most talked about invaders. The Asian Carp have been a main concern because of their rapidly growing population is disrupting the food chains that support the native fish by their excessive eating. These fish can grow up to 4 feet long and weigh 100 pounds. They can also eat the equivalent of 40 percent of their body weight every day, which causes problems for the Great Lakes ecosystem. I think that the regulations on ballast tank dumping should be more strictly enforced to help get rid of this problem.

With all these problems, marine life population is dropping in all sources of water around the world. Marine animals have the same rights to a safe place to live as we do. People should start getting involved and helping out the cause. It’s so simple; anyone can help by picking garbage up at beaches, untangling fish stuck in nets and just caring about the cause. Together we can save the marine population. Because fish are friends, not food!

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