We have been hearing and reading about animals and natural resources being in danger due to human activities from a long time. Many animal species have vanished from the face of earth, we are facing an unpredictable and harsh weather, potable water is scarce, oil and gas are depleting, forest cover is reducing at an alarming rate and new diseases are cropping up all the time. All these dangerous and alarming changes are happening around us every day and we are the ones bearing all the burnt. Though we humans are only responsible for all this, yet we fail on our commitments to saving our environment everyday.
Today there has been a startling exposure by National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, USA, that 96% of the world ocean has been damaged by human activity. The rate of damage is varying and directly depends on the degree of human contact.
This damage is caused by multiple factors like:
• Discharge of solid waste, toxic chemicals, manufacturing waste, fertilizer, radioactive waste, plastics, oil etc. in to the seas
• Passenger cruises disposing tons of waste every year.
• Polluting the sea water surface through air
• Dynamic changes in temperature and radioactive background
• Seismic surveys
• Industrialized fishing
• Oil containers spilling millions of gallons of oil
• Commercial cultivation of some species
• Destruction of the shore line
• Building new islands
• Sea floor drilling
In this way we are not just polluting the water but also disturbing the whole ecosystem involved. These wastes damage the sea creature’s respiratory organs, digestive system and receptive ability. Some chemicals cause rapid growth or destruction of phytoplankton, the basis of sea food chain. Even if the waste is easily decomposable organic matter, high volumes of that too can cause oxygen deficiency in water thereby killing thousands of water organisms. More harmful toxics result in permanent damage to their physiological functions like reproduction.
An ever increasing incident of oil spill has exposed the sea organisms to the danger of physical and physicochemical damage, owing to oil’s complex composition. We are discharging them in far more quantities than what natural recycling system can handle. Many a time marine animals consume waste mistaking it for food and ultimately face a painful death. Floating plastic dubs turtles, who eat it, mistaking it for jelly fish, and then die of indigestion.
Fishing rates are higher than the capacity of the specie to replenish the yield. Coastal areas are witnessing more and more depleting number in specific type of fishes, thereby disturbing the whole ecosystem of the area. Apart from this, the discarded fishing lines and nets are trapping mammals and whales into them. The entangled animals are dying in great numbers every year.
In the rush of development we are over using our resources much more than their replenishment rate. We are preparing a barren, toxic and dangerous earth for the coming generations. It’s sad that only one of the uncountable species of this beautiful and only living planet is hell-bent of destroying all life and colour here.