Academic journal article Indian Social Science Journal

Marine Pollution, Its Impacts and Control Measures

Academic journal article Indian Social Science Journal

Marine Pollution, Its Impacts and Control Measures

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life. "Biological Diversity" means the variability among living organisms from all sources including inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems". In its most simple form, biodiversity is 'Life on Earth'. It refers to a variety of life forms including plants, animals and microorganisms, the genes that they contain and the ecosystems that they form. De Fontaubert & et al (1996), defines biodiversity more specifically as 'the variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic inter alia ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.

MARINE BIODIVERSITY

An ecosystem consists of all living and non-living things in an area. Ecosystems include a unique combination of animals, plants, microorganism and physical characteristics that define the location. Ecosystem diversity is the variation in the collection of assemblages, communities, and habitats within a region. Currently, there is no universal classification or unique definition of ecosystems at a global scale, however, this area of research is evolving quickly. Inherent in ecosystem diversity are both biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) components, which differs from both genetic and species diversity. Among which marine biodiversity is considered to be one of the most important aspects. A large proportion of all life on Earth exists in the ocean. Exactly how large the proportion is unknown, since many ocean species are still to be discovered. The ocean is a complex three-dimensional world covering about 71% of the Earth's surface. Because of its depth it contains about 300 times the habitable volume of the terrestrial habitats on Earth. The study is known to be marine biology. It is the scientific study of organisms in the ocean or other marine or brackish bodies of water. Given that in biology many phyla, families and genera have some species that live in the sea and others that live on land, marine biology classifies species based on the environment rather than on taxonomy.

MARINE POLLUTION

Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that causes adverse change. Marine pollution refers to the entry of chemicals, particles, industrial, agricultural and residential waste, noise, or the spread of invasive organisms, into the ocean. Most sources of marine pollution are agricultural runoff and debris. The increase in the use of plastic since 1940 has resulted in the increase of a huge quantity of nearly indestructible, lightweight material floating in the oceans thereby resulting in marine pollution. It also occurs when harmful, or potentially harmful, effects result from the entry into the ocean of chemicals, particles, industrial, agricultural and residential waste, noise, or the spread of invasive organisms. Most sources of marine pollution are land based. The pollution often comes from nonpoint sources such as agricultural runoff, wind-blown debris and dust. Nutrient pollution, a form of water pollution, refers to contamination by excessive inputs of nutrients. It is a primary cause of eutrophication of surface waters, in which excess nutrients, usually nitrogen or phosphorus, stimulate algal growth.

EVOLUTION OF MARINE POLLUTION

Pollution is not a new phenomenon. In fact, pollution has been a problem since the appearance of our earliest ancestors. Increasing human populations have opened the door to more bacteria and disease. During the middle Ages, diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever broke out all across Europe. These epidemics were directly related to unsanitary conditions caused by human and animal wastes, and garbage. In 1347, the bacterium Yersinia pestis, carried by rats and spread by fleas, caused the "Black Death" - an outbreak of bubonic plague. …

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