There I was, leisurely swimming through the reefs when I saw it; a big blob of seaweed. I swam towards it at top speed, opening my mouth, taking a big bite, and then… immediately spitting it out? “ Eww, that's not seaweed! That's PLASTIC!”
Pollution is the presence of a harmful or poisonous substance in the environment. A pollutant is a substance that pollutes or harms the environment, especially the atmosphere or water.
Ocean pollution, otherwise known as Marine pollution occurs when substances that are used or spread by humans, enter and pollute the ocean. There are two main types of pollutants that cause Ocean Pollution, they are Trash (mainly plastics) and Chemicals.
Littering, storm winds, and poor waste management all contribute to trash being a source of ocean pollution. A common type of ocean debris includes various plastics, including shopping bags, bottles, bottle caps, plastic nets, and food wrappers. These wastes are particularly problematic as plastic takes a long time to decompose.
This trash leads to dangerous to humans, animals, and reefs. Fishes become tangled and injured in debris, some animals mistake plastics for food, and small organisms feed on tiny bits of plastic, absorbing the chemicals in its tissues. Humans and other animals would most likely get sick or poisoned when they eat these contaminated fishes and organisms.
This is caused by human activities, mostly agriculture. The use of fertilizers by farms leads to the runoff of chemicals into waterways leading to the ocean.
The increased amount of concentration of different chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorus, in coastal areas and oceans stimulates the growth of algal blooms. This can be toxic for ecosystems and wildlife and harmful to humans. These negative health and environmental effects hurt the local fishing and tourism industry.
There are many other causes of Ocean Pollution, such as Direct discharge which is when pollutants enter the oceans, rivers and streams straight from the urban sewerages and industrial waste disposals, occasionally in the form of hazards and toxic wastes.
Deep sea mining is also a cause of Marine Pollution. Deep sea mining is an experimental seabed mining that involves the retrieval of minerals and deposits from the ocean floor. Some of the potentially toxic metals such as Copper and rare earth minerals such as lanthanum increase the noise, light, sediment le dan plumes and elements that have the potential to impact environs.
Owing to the fact that these causes can destroy our environment, many countries are taking action. Solutions include prevention and cleaner. Limiting the amount of plastic used in daily life and cleaning up the already polluted oceans and seas. According to a report in 2018 from the United Nations, more than sixty countries have validated regulations to limit or ban the use of easily disposed plastic. We ourselves could also help by sorting our trash and plastic, by not littering the beautiful ocean that surrounds us.
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Eshal is a 14-year-old student who studies in Ahmadhiyya International School, 7th grade. She loves reading and enjoys writing stories. Her favourite colour is Forest green and she is a selenophile. When she grows up she wants to be an archaeologist or astronomer for she is interested in unearthing the past of the world and further discovering outer space.
Cite this article as:
Eshal Mohamed Fayaz, Ocean Pollution: The Sea of Plastic and Other Menaces, theCircle Composition, Volume 4, (2023). Ocean Pollution: The Sea of Plastic and Other Menaces - theCircle Composition