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The Importance of a Marine Ecosystems
In a historical document taken from the archives of the State of Virginia, one can find Captain John Smith’s journal entry. Captain Smith described an event wherein his men were able to haul an abundant harvest of fish (Roberts, 2012, p.10). Scientific evidence supports Smith’s claim (Roberts, 2012). Thus, there was a time when the Earth’s marine ecosystems were teeming with marine life. Captain Smith’s journal was written in the year 1624. It is good to read about Smith’s account. His account of America’s rich natural resources encourages the creation of initiatives to save the marine ecosystems of the present time.
Cutting-edge technology is supposed to guarantee a bountiful harvest. However, scientists all over the world are making the following sad refrain: “For all their technological brilliance, modern fishing fleets operate at the margins of profitability” (Roberts,2012). Fishermen are having a hard time hitting their quotas. The main culprit is the destruction of marine ecosystems due to the tremendous increase in human populations. The growth of communities dependent on fishing is proportional to the destruction of marine ecosystems. Scientists are lamenting the fact that many fish species are in precipitous decline (Abel & McConnell, 2010). Nevertheless, responsible citizens must never give up. The destruction of the aquatic environment is an inevitable outcome of human development. Responsible citizens must take concrete steps in order to reverse the negative impact of the exploitation of marine life. The survival of the human race, and the survival of millions of species of wildlife is dependent on a healthy marine ecosystem.
Marine ecosystems are important because these are major sources of food for the human population. Seafood is an important source of protein. The inability to harvest fish will exacerbate the nutrition problem in areas where hunger is already a major issue. Marine ecosystems also play an important role in the livelihood of hundreds of millions of people around the world. A significant number of workers are dependent on a health ecosystem in order to create jobs related to tourism. Millions of employees are dependent on jobs related to aqua sports, scuba diving, and recreational fishing. Marine ecosystems are also critical sources of medicines.
The Effects of a Growing Human Population
Overfishing is the number one concern with regards to the growing human population in coastal areas. Growing cities have an indirect impact on the destruction of marine ecosystems. Globalization has created greater demand for exotic food and exotic sea creatures. People harvest corals for aesthetic purposes without considering the fact that aquatic animals rely on corals to survive.
Mangroves are needed to protect coastal communities from storm surges. At the same time, the mangrove ecosystem interacts with the marine ecosystem in the area in order to produce healthy marine life. The interaction of different groups of organisms ensures the survival of the human population. However, the need to produce more food necessitates the destruction of mangroves in order to give way to man-made structures.
Petroleum products are major sources of pollutants that destroy aquatic life in marine ecosystems. The growth of the human population directly increases the demand for petroleum products. Therefore, there is significant increase in the amount of petroleum products transported across the seven seas. As a result, the incidence of oil spills are also on the rise. Oil spills degrade aquatic life and destroy sensitive marine habitats (Abel & McConnell, 2010). It is important to develop tankers that are not prone to accidents. It is also important to develop effective strategies for oil spill clean up. The clean up method must be efficient enough to minimize damage to the marine ecosystem in the said area.
People dependent on marine ecosystems must use resources at their disposal to reverse the negative consequences of uncontrolled exploitation of marine life. One of the practical strategies to repair the damage is to create marine protected zones that are designed to handle diverse species of marine life. Another important strategy is to impose penalties on factories and other man-made endeavors that are responsible for dumping toxic waste into ocean floor. It is important to develop protected zones that are free from human interference.
Abel, D. & McConnell, R. (2010). Environmental oceanography. MA: Jones and Bartlett.
Roberts, C. (2012). The ocean of life. New York: Penguin Books.