About 71% of the earth is covered with water. This means land occupies the remaining 29% that less than half the amount of water. Yet, the activities that takes place on this 29% of land have intense impacts on the oceans. Our oceans and seas are world’s in themselves they are home to scores of marine life. The lives on both land and in water are interconnected. Oceans generate the oxygen we breathe, provide food and regulate the climate. The way we treat our oceans impacts not only the life that lives with in it, but us too.
Millions of sharks are killed every year for their fins, which is a delicacy in some parts of the world. Although it is legal to capture some species, illegal shark finning takes place. The sharks fins are cut off and the rest of the body is dumped in to the ocean so as to avoid having to declare the full animal at port.
Over the last couple of decades the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has gone up. This has led to ocean acidification. The ocean acidification puts the entire marine food web at risk.
Dead zones are regions in the ocean where oxygen levels are so low that no marine life can live. Every year a dead zone forms near the Gulf of Mexico as farmers fertilize their land and the rain washes the chemicals in to the rivers and ocean.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a huge amount of garbage that lies in the North Pacific Ocean. It moves between the West Coast of North America and Japan. It is supposedly twice the size of Texas.
Minamata in Japan was the victim of serious mercury poisoning in the 1950. A chemical company had dumped large amounts of mercury in to the Minamata Bay. Recent research has found that mercury levels in the ocean have increased tremendously.