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Marine pollution

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Marine pollution Marine pollution is one of the 21st centuries greatest environmental problems. In 1992 at the United Conference on Environmental and Development held in Rio de Janeiro it was concluded that land-based pollution was considered to be the major source of marine pollution. Marine pollution is defined as "direct or indirect introduction by man of substances or energy into the marine environment resulting in deleterious effects". A general presumption suggested marine pollution was not a problem because or the sheer size/volume of the worlds marine environment and this would dilute any pollution, but as the problems in the North sea has proven this statement wrong as this is a regular dumping ground for many countries and tides keeping the waste in the same area. Oil is popular idea for marine pollution as it is the only type that gets media coverage. Although is causes serious effects on whole ecosystems, it is not that common and the damage is reversible. Oil gets into water by accidental spills from ships, trucks or pipelines. For example the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989, spilling more than 38million litres off the shoreline of Alaska. The oil covered 1770km of shoreline including many islands killing thousands of birds and sea mammals like sea otters. ...read more.


Also in the North Sea there is high amounts of lead pollution, this accumulates in the marine life, causing toxic effects. The problem with this pollution is the different sources, so controlling them is much more complicated: 58% of the lead is from vehicle emissions. Pollution is released from factories in the effluent discharged into rivers leading to the North Sea, although the factories may be releasing legal amounts of pollution in the effluent, it all accumulates because off all the factories along all the rivers in the different countries leading to the North Sea. Another problem in the North Sea is over-fishing. This is when there is a decrease in fish caught even though fishing efforts are increased. Herring was seriously over-fished in the North Sea, in 1952 there was 2million tonnes this was reduced to 0.25million tonnes in 1974. Germany, Denmark, Netherlands and Norway were also using the North Sea to fish, as well as Herring, Cod, Haddock and Plaice. There are several methods that could help resolve this problem: a. Reducing the total permitted annual catch. b. Reducing mesh size. So younger fish are able to grow and reproduce. c. Limiting fishing areas. ...read more.


Outbreaks started after the 1970s. As the oceans get warmer the rate of photosynthesis increases which creates increased concentrations of free-radical toxins, that affect the zooxanthellae. A reef can slowly recover form this but if bleaching keeps on taking place it may be impossible for recovery. This makes coral unable to deposit calcium carbonate skeleton that makes the foundation of the reef. In the Ecologist report 'Climate change' November 2001, they have predicted, that because of global warming raising the temperature of the oceans, coral reefs are thought to be 'unsavable'. In the case of the sewage and coral problems, money is the problem. In developed countries money isn't too much of a problem for treatment of sewage pollution but projects are not a big priority. Countries where there are coral reefs, the tourisms it attracts that causes damage and pollution also brings money to the local people. Another problem is because most pollution is a Transboundary pollutant, so neighbouring countries, like the 5 countries surrounding the North Sea, should work together to resolve the problem by creating international legislation with international enforcement. Marine pollution is a very wide spread area and a problem in resolving this is it is seen as one big problem. It needs to be dealt with in separate sections. ...read more.

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