–What Impact Do Humans Have on the Marine Environment?


Human activity can alter the oceans with:

  • Natural resource development (e.g., offshore drilling)
  • Aquaculture (e.g., farm-raised fish)
  • Shipping
    —Pollution (e.g., oil, chemicals, trash, sewage)
    —Exotic Species Introduction
    (i.e. ships moving from place to place bring organisms with them to places where they don’t belong, disrupting the local marine environment)
  • Fishing
    —Practices that damage the environment
    (e.g., bottom trawling, drift nets, bycatch)
  • Recreation

clean beach sceneWith the rise in the world’s population, the use of the ocean and its resources has increased, as has the devastation that results from the accumulation of pollutants into the marine environment.


Pollution has an effect on:

  • Entire marine ecosystems
  • Public health
  • Our marine resources (fisheries, tourism and shipping costs)

To ensure the ocean’s survival for future generations, we all must do our part to protect it.