Ocean pollution and effects on humans and marine life

August 11, 2017

Ocean pollution and effects on human and marine life

Ocean pollution is also known as Marine pollution: while oceans also are our life support system, Marine ecosystems are a growing source of renewable energies and provide us with a wide range of essential goods and services, such as food, raw materials, carbon absorption. The carbon dioxide is stored in algae, vegetation and coral under the sea and it is easy to understand how this is important and essential for the mitigation of man-made climate change, that is dramatically affecting our seas. Every sailing lover has a deep passion for the ocean, the nature and the life within and we have to stimulate each other to take action to prevent pollution from coming into the ocean as well as stopping the flow of plastic and waste or contributing to the solutions of one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time. Ocean pollution has effects on humans and marine life, that is under pressure because of human activities such as transports or industrial processes, as an example.

The temperature of our oceans is changing and rising: nowadays, absorbing all the carbon from the burning of fossil fuels is quite impossible and the increased amount causes acidification, disruption of coastal infrastructure and the marine organisms aren’t able to build their shells and skeletal structure. According to European Environment Agency in the Mediterranean sea, many species are disappeared from disturbed areas affected by the pollution: its sea beds, one of the most critical ecosystems, is changed and the time required for a recolonisation is estimated at about 3.000 years. It is a lot of time! So prevention is cheaper and we can reduce the future costs of the cleaning by acting now. We can make many changes starting from to reuse our plastic on board, there are many creative ways to do that. During our sailing holiday we can follow simply rules of conduct to avoid negative impacts on the environment and in the next chapter we will see how it is affecting our life and the ocean.

Ocean pollution affects our health

What is ocean pollution and what you can do to help.
According to European Marine Board, the marine environment contributes significantly to the human health and the well-being, intrinsically impacted by and connected to: the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink. This relationship has been worldwide recognized. Ocean pollution instead is coming from untreated urban waste, water and agriculture, while oceans and marine environments are affected by overfishing, oil spills, hazardous substances, plastics… and it is absolutely important for the marine environment to remain ecologically functional and economically sustainable. Try to think to all those people that depend on the coastal resources ranging from fishing and aquaculture activities to desalination for drinking water and recreational use of beaches and inshore waters and then think to impacts of global climate change such as cyclones, sea-level rise and rising water temperatures that is changing the distribution of fish stocks: if you are a scuba diver, you surely know for example how this is affecting the sharks’ distribution. In addition harmful algal blooms are increasing as the microbial pollution. The last one will lead to illness in humans and organisms exposed to contaminated seafood and waters. Furthermore the global production of plastic, has affected the marine environment and species, such as turtle or seabirds, died after ingesting floating objects.

Ocean pollution: how we can help

Ocean pollution must be faced and during our sailing holiday we can do many things to help such as:
1) Preventing rubbish and plastics form following into the sea;
2) Avoiding chemical products for the shower and to clean the sailboat;
3) Reusing and recycling bottles or other objects during our trip;
4) Choosing sustainably sourced seafood when we are provisioning our galley;
5) Respecting the beaches, the sea bed and corals while snorkeling.

During your next sailing holiday with Sailsquare be mindful, we love