Marine Contamination and Pollution

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Marine Contamination and Pollution According to the United Nations Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution (GESAMP) of 1972, marine pollution is ?the introduction by man directly or indirectly, of substances or energy to the marine environment resulting in deleterious effects such as harm to living resources, hazards to human health; hindrance of marine activities including fishing, impairing the quality for use of sea water, and reduction of amenities?(Clark 3). Since the beginning of modern civilization, man has continuously polluted the oceans. As more and more pollution entered the Earth?s oceans and problems became evident, man has been given the obligation to prevent further damage. Sewage, marine debris, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, oil, and radioactive materials constitute six major categories of marine pollutants that mankind needs to prevent from entering the worlds oceans. Sewage has a short lifespan, it decomposes due to microscopic organisms like bacteria and fungi. However, in the respiration process microorganisms consume oxygen, creating ?biological oxygen demand?(Johnston 56). If there is too little oxygen in the water to support the biological oxygen demand for these biodegraders, they die and so do all the plants and animals that depend on them for food. When raw sewage is dumped into an area without strong currents to disperse it, the oxygen is likely to be used up. When this happens, the only form of decomposition that can take place is anaerobic which takes a very long time. This process is called eutrophication (Clark 5). When nutrient rich sewage enters the ocean, an extreme overgrowth of toxic phytoplankton. This process causes what is known as red... ... middle of paper ... ...lutants including sewage, marine debris, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, oil, and radioactive materials. These pollutants need to be regulated and prevented from entering the oceans. As population and consumer societies grow, pollution will become even a greater problem. The effects of each of the six major pollutants is evident, therefore; mankind needs to take preventative steps to save our ?Mother Ocean?. Bibliography: Works Cited Clark, R.B. Marine Pollution. Second Edition. Clarendon Press. Oxford, New York. 1989. Johnston, R. Marine Pollution. Academic Press. New York, NY. 1976. Seymour, Allyn H. Radioactivity in the Marine Environment. National Academy of Sciences. Washington D.C. 1971. Whitham, B.T. , A.B. Harvey, D.F. Duckworth et al. Marine Pollution by Oil . Institute of Petroleum analysis committee. Great Britian. 1974.

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