Based on the research by the Ministry of the Environment, one can say that throughout the existence of humans, oceans have been relied on for aspects such as food, recreation, waste dump, and economic opportunities (“Human Impacts”). As such, human activities can affect the ocean in diverse ways, for instance, the introduction of pests and the harvesting of seafood. Nevertheless, it is not only near-ocean activities alone that affect life in the marine ecosystem, but what humans do in the land far from it is also of concern. In the past few decades, the world has experienced rapid population growth and most of the population is expanding towards the marine (Fothergill episode 1). It means that there are significant changes in the way land is used. The paper carries out an analysis of human activities that influence the marine ecosystems.
On most occasions, people that live near the coast rely on the ocean for food (“Human Impacts”). In addition, the fishing department in most countries has introduced advanced fishing equipment and technologies, which has led to the significant reduction in the stocks of fish. There is over-exploitation of the stocks of fish, especially on the continental shelf areas. Besides over-fishing, some people conduct unsustainable fishing practices, which affects the marine life negatively (Micheli 57; Elahi et al.). The fishing techniques such as trawling and dredging damage marine organisms and their habitats on the ocean floor. The above-mentioned approaches lead to the capturing of other non-target species that are then thrown away. It is referred to as by-catch, which is on the rise, especially when fishing at night and over-fishing in certain areas at specific times of the year (Fothergill episode 5).
Other harmful techniques are used on the coral reefs, and they include poisons and explosives, which is extra damaging to the marine ecosystems. It is significant to acknowledge that coral reefs are a part of the marine ecosystems. These reefs are mined for construction purposes, and reef animals are collected for home aquariums (Darling 32).
The increased industrial activities on the land have led to the use of the ocean as a dumping site for industrial waste products that include chemicals, sewage, and industrial run-off. According to reports, industrial activities are a threat to the life of the marine ecosystems and population (“Human Impacts”). Moreover, oil spills also pose great danger to the marine systems, as more and more oil spills occur, especially in developed nations and nations that carry out oil mining in the water bodies. Consequently, it is essential for things such as plastics and diverse chemicals, for instance, pesticides to be washed to the sea via the rivers during heavy rains. Sewage and wastewater pollute the marine environment if not treated properly (Elahi et al.).
Eutrophication is a certain type of marine pollution caused by the inflow of excessive nutrients towards the coastal areas through rivers and streams (“Human Impacts”). The nutrients come from the use of fertilizers from farming activities on the land. Excessive nutrients in the sea lead to the growth of phytoplankton that causes blooms. Because of the death of these blooms, their decomposition uses great amounts of oxygen, which depletes the level of oxygen in the sea. In most cases, the lack of oxygen kills marine organisms, for instance, fish (Micheli 57).
The introduction of diverse species in the terrestrial ecosystems contributes to the loss of biodiversity and it is a threat to the marine environment. However, it is difficult to control the introduction of such species. In certain areas, ships from other parts of the world bring these marine species on their hulls. These species might turn out to be a threat to those that already live in that area. The entire species introduced might not be a threat, but in certain cases, the invasive organisms might survive and develop, and it will be difficult to get rid of them. A good example of such invasive species is the Japanese seaweed from the streams of Japan (“Human Impacts”).
According to scientists, diverse human activities have resulted in the increase of amount of gasses such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (“Human Impacts”). This increase affects marine environment hugely since the oceans absorb most of the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The absorbed carbon dioxide leads to the reduction of the acidity level of the ocean water, and it becomes more acidic. The change in the PH level affects marine biology by decreasing the marine biodiversity (Micheli 33).
Evaluation of Sources
“Human Impacts on Marine Environments.” Science Learning. 13 April 2015. Web. 22 Oct. 2015.
This article is an online source. The research conducted was commissioned by the New Zealand government. As such, it is a real document and the impacts highlighted in it are real in the country, which only adds to the importance of the source in terms of research. The government of New Zealand ordered the research due to the increased effects of human activities on the marine biology. Therefore, this source is relevant to the topic.
Darling, Emily S. "Assessing the Effect of Marine Reserves on Household Food Security in Kenyan Coral Reef Fishing Communities." PLoS One 9.11 (2014): e113614. MEDLINE. Web. 22 Oct. 2015.
The peer-reviewed article sheds light on how oceanic communities perceive natural resources within the ocean, for instance, the coral reefs as a source of food. The source is significant for the research as it explains the need for marine conservation and management. Moreover, it shows how the depletion of coral reefs due to the local communities’ over-dependence on the corals as their source of food.
Elahi et al. "Recent Trends in Local-Scale Marine Biodiversity Reflect Community Structure and Human Impacts." Current Biology 14 (2015): 1938-1943. Academic One File. Web. 22 Oct. 2015.
The above source is a peer-reviewed journal. It focuses on two concepts, biological diversity, and coastal ecosystems. It seeks to offer an explanation of how human activities have led to the alteration of marine biology and what that means to the marine biology. It is an effective resource since it seeks to offer an understanding of local biodiversity and trends in human activities.
Fothergill, Alastair. “The Blue Planet: Nature Documentary." BBC. n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2015.
“The Blue Planet” is a documentary made in the ocean. The source is effective and it offers a real-life observation of the marine biology. It is a magical journal on the ocean and it tackles all aspects including coral reefs and deepest parts of the ocean. It offers insights into the balance of the marine biology and the possible activities that can cause the imbalance in the ecosystems, which makes this source relevant to the subject.
Micheli, Fiorenza, et al. "Cumulative Human Impacts on Mediterranean and Black Sea Marine Ecosystems: Assessing Current Pressures and Opportunities." PLoS ONE 8.12 (2013): 1-10. Academic Search Premier. Web. 22 Oct. 2015.
The source is a peer-reviewed journal that addresses the issue of management of the marine ecosystems and how current human activities impact on the marine ecology. It bases on actual analysis on the Black Sea and Mediterranean regions. It is a strategic source that discusses issues such as marine ecology, ecological regions, ocean temperature, and acidification.
I do not consider any of my evaluated sources to be more valuable than the other. The reason for this is that all sources are based on actual research and offers first-hand information for research activities. Furthermore, the sources offer enough information regarding the chosen topic.
In conclusion, human activities have huge impacts on the marine ecosystems. These activities are manifested in the form of fishing, pollution, and the introduction of other species. For an individual to have an understanding of such activities, it is significant to have an understanding of marine biology. In general, diverse human activities are credited for the destruction of the marine ecosystems. Policymakers should work to introduce policies that safeguard the environment at both the land and the sea to curb the increasing threats to the marine life.