–How does shipping pollution impact the marine environment?

Ocean currents take pollutants far from the site of the initial contamination.

Shipping pollution can have devastating effects on the marine environment. These effects include:

  • Mechanical effects on marine life which damage the organisms’ functions
  • Eutrophic effects, which cause some forms of bacteria to flourish at the cost of other forms of ocean life
  • Saprogenic effects, which cause oxygen deficiency and kill ocean organisms
  • Toxic effects, which damage reproduction, feeding and respiration
  • Mutagenic effects, which cause cancer and wound marine organisms
  • Effects from oil spills can quickly devastate the marine environment. (Ten minutes after a spill of one ton of oil, it can spread to a radius of 50 meters, forming an oil slick 10 millimeters thick.)

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Humans depend on the marine environment for many things, and we have a very large impact on it. If we want to continue to depend on the marine environment, we have to do a better job of controlling our use of it.

Seafarers play a critical role, as they earn their living from the sea and can set an example for each other and for the rest of the world.