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WHY MARINE CONSERVATION IS IMPORTANT

Marine conservation means keeping ecosystems in the world’s oceans and seas safe and healthy. It can be done by long-term use of strategies that help keep species in the ocean from being lost. 

Additionally, people must stop overusing the ocean’s resources. But these aren’t the only reasons why marine conservation is important: There are many more.

  1. The Ocean Regulates Climate

  • It’s important for the oceans to help keep the climate stable.
  • The ocean takes in more than 90% of the heat, which slows down the temperature. Ocean currents also help keep the temperature stable by moving the heat around the world.
  • Oceans not only absorb solar radiation, but they also keep the sun’s heat from being spread unevenly.
  • Water from the ocean evaporates and condenses in the troposphere to make clouds. Then, the water can fall back down as rain.
  • In the ocean, a lot of greenhouse gases are kept for a long time. Without proper care, these gases could be released into the air.

  1. The Ocean Improves Air Quality

  • Waters in the oceans cover up to 71% of the Earth’s surface.
  • Oceans make a lot of the oxygen that we breathe.  These large bodies of water are full of phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are tiny plants that live in the water and make their own food.
  • In the process of photosynthesis, phytoplankton makes oxygen. It is thought that 50%- 80% of the oxygen in the world comes from these tiny plants in the sea.
  • Because the ocean is so big, it is the best place to store carbon on Earth. Oceans can take up to one-third of the carbon dioxide humans put into the air.
  • When the oceans are gone, the oxygen levels will drop to dangerous levels. On the other hand, carbon dioxide levels will rise dramatically, which will cause a lot of species to die out.
  1. Oceans Are a Source of Food

  • About 80% of the world’s species live in the ocean.
  • Oceans are the largest ecosystem on Earth. They have a lot of different species of marine animals that humans can eat.
  • About 20% of the animal protein we eat comes from the ocean. It’s important that humans don’t run out of food. Marine food sources play a big part in this.
  • If we don’t take care of the oceans, the fish and other marine animals will run out in the long run. This will have a big impact on the environment and may also cause food shortages around the world.
  • In addition to fish, the oceans give humans edible plants from the sea.
  1. Medical Importance

  • There are a lot of compounds scientists and doctors use to make medicine in the sea.
  • People who study marine animals and plants get different types of biochemical substances from them.
  • Some animals are helpful in biomedical research. This research helps improve modern medicine.
  • Some types of marine plants and algae are also good for you.
  • More plants and animals for medicinal use live in the ocean.  In fact, scientists have only found some of them so far. This is due to the fact that almost 80% of the ocean has not been explored yet.
  1. Oceans Create Employment Opportunities

  • 12% of people make money from the world’s oceans.
  • People from all over the world get jobs thanks to the “blue economy” or jobs from the oceans. For example, marine conservation groups give jobs to marine biologists and other scientists.
  • Many people make money in the fishing business by fishing in the sea.
  • Fish processing plants also hire people who handle and package the fish.

WHEN DID MARINE CONSERVATION START?

The protection and preservation of aquatic biomes are of great importance to the environment. (Research from Four Fish)

  • Scientists recognized the bad situations happening in the oceans in the early 1960s. At that time several species of marine animals were almost going extinct.
  • One of the issues early conservation agencies addressed was the overexploitation of marine resources.
  • In the early 1970s, the US government began the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act to protect marine ecosystems.
marine conservation issues

MARINE CONSERVATION ISSUES

The pressing issues in marine conservation include: (Research from Thought Co.)

Global Warming

  • The increase in the earth’s temperature causes coral bleaching and loss of habitat for marine animals.
  • Sea levels are also rising rapidly due to global warming. This poses a threat to coastal habitats.
  • As the temperatures rise, marine ecosystems have problems, resulting in the death of ocean plants and animals.

Plastic Pollution

  • Several tons of plastic items find their way into the ocean every year. Plastics account for about 80% of marine debris.
  • Marine animals often mistake plastics for food. When ingested, plastic clogs the animal’s digestive system, causing death. Animals also get tangled or trapped in plastic bottles.
  • Plastic also smothers Coral reefs. With time, plastic breaks down to form microparticles that make phytoplankton toxic to other marine animals.

Overfishing

  • Many people and companies overexploit the oceans’ resources. This causes the extinction of marine mammals. Also, some animals are currently endangered due to overfishing.
  • Shark finning and whaling are some of the common fishing issues that marine conservation agencies need to deal with.
  • Overexploitation of fish creates an imbalance in marine ecosystems.

Oil Spills

  • Oil spills pollute the ocean. Additionally, oil spills lower oxygen levels. Then marine animals suffocate or aren’t able to breathe. 
  • Spilled oil also makes marine birds flightless. Next, birds that can’t fly drown when catching food in the ocean.
  • Finally, oil spills prevent light from reaching phytoplankton and other marine plants.

Ocean Acidification

  • As the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the earth’s atmosphere, the water becomes more acidic.
  • High acidity levels hinder calcification in coral reefs and shelled marine animals.
  • Low pH levels hurt some marine plants. Basically, the ocean becomes to acidic for them to survive.

Endangered Marine Animals

  • Several species of marine mammals are endangered due to human activities.
  • Some examples of endangered sea animals include Mediterranean monk seals, leatherback sea turtles, and some whale species.
  • People need to protect marine animals through marine conservation to prevent their extinction.

HOW TO GET INTO MARINE CONSERVATION

There are several ways to become a marine conservationist: (Research from Animal Courses Direct)

  1. Become a Marine Zoologist

  • Marine zoology is the scientific study of marine animals. You can better understand how to protect marine animals by studying their behavior.
  1. Oceanography

  • This is the scientific study of the ocean’s biological and physical features. By becoming an oceanographer, you can study and observe changes in the ocean’s landscape. The data obtained can aid in marine conservation.
  1. Become a Marine Biologist

  • Marine biologists study ocean samples and also monitor marine animals exposed to pollutants.
  1. Volunteer Work

  • Marine conservation agencies provide people with opportunities to work towards improving marine ecosystems.

WHAT ARE MARINE CONSERVATION ZONES?

 Marine conservation zones are protected marine reserves mainly found in English waters.

  • Conservation zones protect aquatic biomes from human destruction.
  • These zones can help in restoring damaged marine ecosystems.
  • Marine conservation zones are ideal for conducting scientific research on a given species.

MARINE CONSERVATION PROTECTS AQUATIC BIOMES

Through marine conservation, we can protect aquatic animals, plants, and marine ecosystems. We can preserve our oceans by reducing carbon emissions, abolishing the use of plastics, and minimizing fishing activities. Marine conservation agencies can also benefit from donations and volunteer efforts.

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