Before I start this article I would like to quote few lines from the famous poem “The rime of the Ancient Mariner” written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
“Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink”
Ocean forms about 75% of the Earth’s surface and about 97% of Earth’s water supply. They are the source of water for various places and also houses variety of plants and animals under the vast expanse of water. Although they are mainly used for water consumption, currently there happen lots of things which have contributed to the unfit usage of this water. These are basically man made which has brought an ecological system imbalance thus affecting the plant and animal life underneath the water. As the poet correctly put up, there is water everywhere but not one drop to consume. Here I’m listing out some of the most disgusting things we as humans has done to these beautiful expanse of life nurturing substance.
Fertilizers and other waste washed off from the farms and lawns which go into the ocean and sea causes in the depletion of algae which is responsible for converting the oxygen present in the air into the oxygen which is needed for the survival of marine animals. This depletion of algae is known as Eutrophication and it has increased from past couple of years. This causes the marine animals to die of suffocation due to less oxygen present in the water.
2. Decreased level of drinking water
Excessive usage of water by industries and factories for treating their materials, also discharging those water back into the oceans and seas has contributed to the acidifying for whatever water is left for drinking. Half treated effluents along with the contaminated water are released back into the water beds thus decreasing the level of drinking water. Currently the world is suffering from shortage of drinking water. Although some countries have abundant supply of drinking water, there are countries they haven’t seen a drop for ages. One should make sure the water released by these industries are properly treated which shouldn’t pollute the water.
3. Improper maintenance
There have been many cases of accidents in the water stating that the speed boat or the yacht was hit by debris found in the oceans or seas. One must remember any waste or debris from any material or substance needn’t be disposed of into the ocean as this might cause accidents. These not only threatens underwater life but also humans you are using the waterways for recreational or travel purpose.
4. Disposal of sewage
Have you ever wondered how the sewage system works in a country or state? Most of them work such that the sewage through a proper pipeline is later disposed off into oceans and seas. Yes that is very much true! A not-so-proper drainage system works such a way that at the end of the day the water you drink might be contaminated with these sewage matters. So what we can do this ensure that sewage is used for compost purposes rather than contamination.
5. Disposal of waste
We human beings have taken everything what is given to us for granted. Be it the abundance of minerals and resources or the vast expanse of life nurturing substance or the biodiversity of plants and animals, humans have not left a point of exploiting the same for our own benefit. This is seen more when we try to dispose our household waste into the sea or ocean because what we feel is the water will eventually consume that too. No that is not true! Whatever waste you dispose along with plastic products would kill the underwater life and these stay contaminating the purity of water.
6. Whaling and dolphin hunting
Whales and dolphins are killed at various countries for their fat and meat due to its demand all around the world. Every year many of these mammals are killed to keep the industries in a good position. One again forgets that these mammals form an important part of the ecological food chain and killing them would make them endangered species. At the end when they are totally extinct, it would lead to ecological imbalance affecting the human life for sure. Though there have been many protests and moves opposing these gruesome acts, these are still continuing at some part of the world.
7. Toxic waste
As and when the country is developing, they built chemical industries and other factories which are needed for the refining of the minerals and resources which are extracted. These minerals and resources are then put through a process of filtering to enable one to get the end product. But during this whole process of purifying the material, many waste materials get separated from the processing materials which are considered to be toxic. These toxic wastes are then disposed off into the ocean or sea nearby these industries. This is done with the idea that water would, in time, degrade the whole waste nullifying its toxic affect but one forgets that the animals consumes these toxic waste mixed with water. Then again these fishes are then caught and eaten by these humans, who in turn get deadly diseases like cancer, etc.
8. Drilling and Mining
We all know our Earth’s surface both the landmass and also the land under ocean is filled with lots of rich minerals and resources. Moreover the land under the ocean is known to be rich with oil. So refineries are built on the ocean to extract this resources and minerals for consumption. This extraction is known as both drilling and mining. But one forgets that when this is done it disrupts the life under the ocean causing threats to animal’s lives. Drilling causes the mixing of the oil and other by-products with the ocean’s water contaminating it.
9. Oil spills
We know some of the countries are not well rich in oil and other minerals so they import or export the same. Mostly such kind of transaction happens through waterways, since carrying it through aeroplanes wouldn’t be feasible. While the big ship carries these many barrels containing the oil and other similar product, they sometime release these into the ocean. These oil spills can cause fire hazard too causing air pollution. Oil spills are considered to be life threatening for the animals living under the sea causing them to die without the availability of underwater oxygen.
10. Disposal of corpse
Everyone knows human bodies after a certain point of time starts decomposing and emitting foul odour. Although this practise is not prevalent in many parts of the world, it mainly can be seen in Ganges, India where spirituality and traditionalism meets. People believe if the corpse is cremated near to the river the soul will get ultimate salvation. However, there has been many cases where people just dispose the bodies into the rivers and these rivers which starts from the foot hills of Himalayas finally joins into the Bay of Bengal Sea, which is connected with the Indian Ocean. All these decomposed corpse mixes with the good water which threatens the life under the sea.
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