The ocean has a significant influence on the weather, marine life, human life, and the environment. This means that polluting our oceans has dire consequences.
Unfortunately, there is an increase in ocean pollution, which is in turn affecting human health and threatening the survival of marine life. Nonetheless, it is difficult to specifically tell how much the effect is because of the large size of an ocean.
Here are the effects of ocean pollution:
Oil dumped in oceans has a significant effect on ocean creatures. First, it will clog the feathers and gills of marine life, making it hard for them to breathe and move.
Second, other pollution agents may make it hard for ocean creatures to reproduce, feed, or even regulate their body temperature. This comes about when the animals ingest contaminated food or feeding grounds.
In the long run, ocean pollution will affect the ocean creatures’ ability to reproduce. It may also cause retarded growth, damaged vital organs, behavioral change, and in the worst, the death of marine life.
Ocean pollutants contain toxic substances, mostly heavy metals such as mercury and lead. When sea creatures ingest these metals, and later humans eat the creatures, it may be very detrimental to human health.
Human consumption of seafood poisoned by heavy metals has resulted in life-threatening diseases. For instance, illnesses such as cancer and hepatitis have been linked to eating seafood poisoned by mercury and lead.
When a young child consumes the poisoned seafood, it may disrupt the child’s central nervous system. The same effect can be transmitted to a fetus.
Due to spilled oils and pollution of oceans by chemical nutrients, coral reefs are being destroyed at a high rate. Coral reefs provide aesthetic value to beaches. Also, they provide dwelling ground for sea creatures, food, and spawning.
When the ocean is polluted, the oxygen levels significantly reduce. Pollution also affects light penetration, which affects marine life living in the reef regions. Thus, pollution negatively affects the reef environment.