The ocean is the most beautiful and diverse ecosystem on the planet. It is our planets lifeline and is the reason why we are here today. However, everyday our ocean is being destroyed by pollution.
There are so many reasons to be thankful for the ocean. Most importantly, the oceans produce over 70% of the oxygen that we breathe and over 97% of the world’s water supply. Without the ocean we would struggle to survive. With the oceans covering over 71% of world’s surface, it is hard not to see what pollution is doing to this vital system. With over 8 million tons of plastic being dumped in offshore waste sites every year, marine life, plants and habitats are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Did you know that there are over 405 ‘dead zones’ throughout the global ocean? ‘Dead zones’ are areas within the ocean that are so heavily polluted that there is little to no life at all. In the Gulf of Mexico there is approximately 5000 square miles of ocean, which is practically devoid of life.
Pollution is not only caused by plastic, it is also caused by toxic chemicals being poured into the ocean as waste or by surface run-off. Crude oil is another contributing factor to pollution and is extremely toxic to marine life. However, it is surprising that only 12% of the oil found in our oceans is due to oil spills and a staggering 36% of this oil finds its way into the ocean by surface run-off.
There is so much to learn about ocean pollution and once you have learnt the facts and you see how vital the ocean is to our existence, you will only want to protect it. If you would like to learn more then take a look at the fascinating infographic below;
How ocean pollution affects humans – Graphic by the team at DIVE.in