Marine Environment

–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:


–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)

–What Is the Marine Environment?

Oceans, covering over 70% of our planet (i.e. 139 million square miles, or 360 million square kilometers):

  • Contain 97% of the earth’s water
  • Marine ecosystems hold 80% of all life on the planet

science of marine environment


What is marine pollution?


Marine pollution occurs when hazardous materials enter the ocean. These materials can come from:

  • Marine transportation
  • Marine dumping
  • Offshore facilities

Because of the vastness and complexity of marine ecosystems, we may not always know the extent of marine pollution’s effects.


Water: a natural resource

marine lifeThe world’s water plays a very important role in all aspects of our lives, providing food, employment and other benefits.

Over two-thirds of the world’s population lives within 400 km of the sea, and just over half of the world’s population lives in a coastal strip 120 miles wide. As many as half a billion people draw their livelihoods from the sea in one way or another—processors, packers, shippers, ship builders and others.

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