Oceanic pollution is the process where harmful or potentially harmful substances get into the ocean. Any form of pollution to the ocean directly affects the existence of the sea organisms. The harmful materials come from industrial, agricultural wastes as well as air pollution and get into the river through the rivers or directly to the oceans such as dust and acid rain (Gall & Thompson, 170). Research indicates that land is the source of over 87% of the overall oceanic pollution.
The effects of oceanic pollution are adverse to both the aquatic life as well as the humans. Human beings are solely responsible for the oceanic pollution; they are also affected by it somehow. This is ironical as they cause the pollution and suffer the consequences. The industrial and agricultural chemical, for instance, find their way to the ocean and get absorbed by sea plants as well as the sea animals. Fish and other edible sea animals are consumed by human beings with the chemicals they absorbed from the contaminated lake into their bodies. This indicates that these chemical wastes find their way back to the bodies of human beings at last (Matranga & Ilaria, 33).
The accumulation of these chemicals in the bodies of human beings causes health hazards of different kinds.
Pathways of pollution
Waste and harmful substances get to the ocean in three main ways namely, direct discharge, pollutants from the atmosphere, and runoffs into the water through the rivers (Gall & Thompson, 177).
In direct discharge, the harmful substances originate from the wastes of industries as wells as sewages in the urban areas. These dischargers get into the rivers and find their way to the ocean. Apart from industrial wastes, agricultural chemicals are also absorbed into the soil and drained off by rain water into the rivers and the ocean. These chemicals accumulate in the food chain to a toxic level affecting both sea animals and humans. Mining is yet another source of direct discharge. The mine fields such as those of copper drain their wastes to the rivers. This metal is quite harmful to the sea animals and plants (Matranga & Ilaria, 40).
A good percentage of the water pollutants come from land as mentioned earlier. This indicates that human activities account for the origin of most of these pollutants. In the land runoffs, the pollutants include soil from farms, constructions as well as mining fields. Rain or river water carries the soil and deposits them into the ocean. Other substances that get to the ocean through runoffs are agricultural chemicals used in planting such as fertilizers (Gerlach, 23). Pollutants such as soil are attributed to human activities such as deforestation. This leaves the soil unprotected from running water. .
This pollution pathway is characterized by the deposit of plastic bags, soil and dust particles to the oceans through the atmosphere. Gasses emitted from burning of fossil fuel gets to the atmosphere where it combines with rain to form acid rain which then falls in the ocean causing acidic rain (Hart, 45).
Effects of oceanic pollution
Oceanic pollution destroys the marine habitat posing a risk to the marine animals. It also leads to the death of both aquatic plants and animals. In most cases, the chemicals deposited accumulate in the food chain to toxic levels causing devastating health issues. Oceanic pollution also causes a shortage of oxygen in the water leading to the suffocation of the aquatic animals.
Remedies of oceanic pollution
Regulations should be placed on industries and sewages to ensure that the wastes of the industries are treated before being let into the rivers. There should also be tighter regulations on oceanic pollutions. Countries should develop coordinated environmental program to enhance collective responsibility in the reduction of all forms of oceanic pollution pathways (Matranga & Ilaria, 33).
Gall, S. C., and R. C. Thompson. “The impact of debris on marine life.” Marine pollution bulletin 92.1 (2015): 170-179.
Gerlach, Sebastian A. Marine pollution: diagnosis and therapy. Springer Science & Business Media, 2013.
Hart, CW Jr, ed. Pollution ecology of estuarine invertebrates. Elsevier, 2012.
Matranga, Valeria, and Ilaria Corsi. “Toxic effects of engineered nanoparticles in the marine environment: model organisms and molecular approaches.” Marine Environmental Research 76 (2012): 32-40.
Vernberg, J. F. (2012). Physiological responses of marine biota to pollutants. Elsevier.