This article was contributed by content writer Judy Franco for Studymoose.
The ocean is a source of enormous resources. Wisely managed, it can provide humans with their gifts almost in perpetuity.
The active pollution of the hydrosphere leads to a decrease in natural productivity. Household garbage, industrial effluent, municipal waste, plastic containers, and uncontrolled fishing have caused an inexhaustible source of resources.
People need to be more interested and study the topic of environmental pollution, including ocean pollution because we are destroying the world in which we ourselves live. It is not that difficult to study this subject and there are many educational resources.
Internet users can read ocean pollution essay online or listen to webinars that cover the issue. Articles dedicated specifically to the issue of ecology will help you understand the problem of marine plastic in-depth, understand why we must stop pollution, think about the cleanliness of the ocean and air, and also how we can help the environment through our actions.
How urgent is the problem of ocean pollution?
Plastic pollution in the ocean is a global issue that affects not only all nations, but every individual. The solution to the already existing difficulty requires complex radical measures. Their implementation requires huge capital investments and serious restrictions in all areas of human activity. Today, the whole continent is fighting to resolve the current situation and prevent its further aggravation.
When garbage enters the ocean, it doesn't just drift away; the powerful currents whirl it around and form big garbage islands. The most famous accumulation of plastic is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the North Pacific.
Scientists continue to study the world of plastic actively. Here's what's already known.
- There are bacteria in the plastisphere that get their energy from sunlight, and there are predators, victims, and parasites. That is, life on plastic is organized in the same way as in other ecosystems. That's what Linda Amaral-Zettler thinks.
- The genes of bacteria on plastic are more diverse than those of common aquatic microorganisms. Because of this, they have adapted to a “surface-attached lifestyle.” A team of American scientists from the Center for Microbial Oceanography at the University of Hawaii found this out in 2016. For the experiment, they used plastic debris from the North Pacific Circle.
- The color of the plastic influenced the composition and diversity of the microbial community. Examples: unique species emerged on blue plastic and were generally more diverse than those on yellow and clear plastic. These are the conclusions reached by Chinese scientists from Shanghai Ocean University.
- Bacterial colonies can travel with garbage around the world. This was possible, for example, after the Japanese tsunami of 2011, when 5 million tons of rubbish drifted for a long time in the Pacific Ocean and reached the shores of Hawaii, Alaska, and California.
How to fight ocean pollution?
One of the most visible problems on the surface of the world's ocean waters is plastic. Giant islands of plastic bottles, bags, and other waste are drifting and nestling ashore. There were no reasonable measures to solve this problem for a long time.
So, some countries began to reduce plastic production to minimize the influx of trash. But too few countries have joined this trend so far to talk about the seriousness of this step.
The main issue in solving the problem of ocean pollution is the establishment of recycling of such waste. In the USA, for example, a system of plastic container restructuring has been developed and tested. A special plasma torch breaks down recyclable garbage.
The results of the experiment showed that such destruction really brings positive results and does not spoil ecology. But it is impossible to use this method everywhere because of the cost and heaviness of the recycling platform.
How to prevent ocean pollution?
In 2018, San Francisco launched a new system to collect trash from the water. Special construction is located three meters under the water. The current carries debris into it, which remains in this filter. The device can hold 50 tons of waste. There are plans to install 60 more identical devices in the future.
The pollution of the world's oceans is not the fault of any one person or country. Each of us contributes to the worsening of the situation. In order to fight hydrosphere pollution, we should:
- to stop buying plastic containers as much as possible;
- not to use plastic bags, replacing them with cloth bags;
- to watch the proper sorting of garbage thoroughly so that the plastic is utilized in garbage processing plants and doesn't end up in landfills, rivers, seas, and oceans;
- to teach the younger generation how to handle plastics properly.
These simple steps will reduce the formation of new garbage islands in the world's oceans. Volunteer movements should be taken to remedy the situation that has already occurred. Organized trash collection on beaches and in the water will make it possible to contribute to the common cause of cleaning up the hydrosphere.
How nations can combat the situation
More and more states are concerned about the situation. Developed countries are developing various approaches to clean up the hydrosphere. Each state offers different solutions to ocean pollution, but in general, all agree that the following actions must be taken:
- change the approach to natural resource extraction, agriculture, energy, and industry;
- strictly enforce treatment processes for industrial wastes and effluents discharged into the hydrosphere;
- place a moratorium on catching certain species of fish and marine mammals.
All these measures must be applied comprehensively and rigorously by all nations of the world.
About the author
Judy Franco works as a content writer for Studymoose. She attended Montana State University in the Department of Natural Resources and Rangeland Ecology and studied in depth the topic of ecology and the environment.