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Q. Saving oceans must be top priority: Discuss the factors that are posing serious threats to our oceans.
Jun 29, 2017 Related to : GS Paper-3

Ans :

Introduction-

Oceans for centuries people have regarded them as an inexhaustible supply of food, a useful transport route, and a convenient dumping ground - simply too vast to be affected by anything we do. But human activity, particularly over the last few decades, has finally pushed oceans to their limit. Overfished, polluted, taken for granted, carelessly abused and destroyed, and much more fragile and complex than we once thought, the largest living space on Earth is fast deteriorating.  

Major Factors:

  • We have methodically depleted the fish in our oceans. First, we exhausted those we could catch with small boats and rods close to the shore. Then we went further and exhausted the pelagic fish, such as herring and tuna. Then we went deeper, catching species such as the orange roughy, which can live to 150 years and don’t breed until they are 20 years old.
  • Everyone remembers the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but few people realize that the Gulf of Mexico suffers an even greater insult daily from the chemicals routinely carried into it by the Mississippi. Industrial agriculture is pouring reactive nitrogen and phosphorous into the oceans through every river on Earth, creating what are called “ocean dead zones”.
  • While marine habitats deal with the pressure of coastal pollution, most notably coral reefs, there are other ways we are systematically destroying the ecosystems that marine plants and animals need to survive. These include clearing mangrove forests for shrimp production and scraping entire ecosystems off seamounts, or underwater mountain ranges, through deep-sea trawling.
  • The rate at which oceans are warming may not sound dramatic - the temperature rise over the past century is estimated at about 0.1 degree Celsius - but that is enough to kill the algae that keep corals alive, move species into new areas, and cause sea levels to rise.
  • Like warming, acidification is related to carbon dioxide, which dissolves in oceans to form carbonic acid. The greater the acidity, the less able marine-calcifying organisms are to form shells, disrupting their reproductive process.

Conclusion-

Currently the ocean is suffering various kind of pollutions, hence there is an urgent need to devolve mechanisms to address the issues. Hence international community under the banner of united United Nations. It is largest living space on earth, hence we need to address these issues as early as possible.


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