Even though we distinguish between various oceans in the world by their geographical location, ultimately, there is only one ocean that is interconnected. And this massive body of water is slowly being threatened by human activity.
Similarly, even though we distinguish between various countries of the world by their geographical location, ultimately there is only one country, only one body of people. We must harness the power of these interconnected human bodies to return our oceans to a state of health.
In this article, we discuss the 2 biggest threats to the ocean biome, focusing on how to mitigate the effects of these threats.
Global Warming Threats to the Ocean
But, each community has a specific temperature that the organisms within it have adapted to. This temperature becomes like an organism itself, an indispensable part of the community that provides food, nourishment, and reliability.
The Problem of Global Warming
Yet, many human activities, like drilling for oil, burning fossil fuels for energy, and farming animals, contribute significant carbon emissions to the atmosphere. This increase in carbon dioxide raises the global temperature at a rate that marine ecosystems cannot adapt to.
Even further, as the temperatures of oceans rise, polar ice caps melt, sea levels rise, and this results in the loss of many beaches. However, these beaches are an important habitat for animals like sea turtles. Thus, as we alluded to in the introduction, it seems that not only are all oceans interconnected, but the oceans and land are also interconnected.
Carbon emissions also results in ocean acidification which can disrupt the reproductive processes of shell-forming marine animals. This only causes further imbalance to the marine biome.
How to Prevent Global Warming
The solution to this problem is quite simple. Humans must focus on using sustainable forms of energy that do not raise the temperature of the planet. This means switching to solar energy, hydroelectricity, wind energy, geothermal energy, and even harnessing the energy of the oceans themselves. While we can certainly mitigate some of the immediate threats to the ocean, the best way to address global warming is to focus on long-term, permanent changes.
Overfishing Threats to the Ocean
The ocean biome functions as a breathing, living organism, and any imbalance in one part can result in catastrophic consequences for the other parts. In this section, we break down the problem of overfishing, focusing on coral reefs.
What is the Largest Ocean in the World?
The Pacific Ocean has more than half of the world’s water, and as such represents one of the most critical spaces for preservation. Yet, many humans living in the Pacific Ocean Basin are fishing at a rate that is unsustainable. This means certain species of fish, like bluefin tuna, do not have enough time to reproduce, thus causing their populations to become endangered.
This decline in population not only translates to less food available for us to eat, but it also influences the rest of the Pacific Ocean ecosystem, all the way down to the coral reefs.
Coral reefs are often labeled the “rainforests of the sea” and are found most commonly in shallow, tropical waters. The majority of the ocean’s coral reefs are found either near Southeast Asia or near Australia, in the Pacific Ocean Basin.
When we overfish and deplete certain fish populations, we disrupt the harmony of coral reef ecosystems. We disrupt not only other fish that rely on these endangered fish for food, but we disrupt the populations of the fish that are eaten by these endangered fish, like algae. When there is disharmony in the populations of these fish, bioerosion can occur, which is damaging to the coral reef.
Additionally, many of the tools we use to fish can damage coral reefs directly. Some of these include nets, traps, and fishing lines which come into contact with reefs or are lost and accumulate on them.
Our Final Thoughts – What is the Biggest Ocean Threat?
What’s the common thread among these problems? It’s unsustainable human activity.
We think the solution to the deteriorating ocean is to be gentler in our treatment of it. This means directly altering how we interact with it, but also indirectly affecting it by changing how we treat each other.
We certainly need to shift our global diet, establish overfishing laws, construct preservation zones, and reduce our carbon footprint.
But, we also need to take a more abstract route. This means increasing the amount of love, compassion, empathy, and wisdom in the world. If we all had more of these things, it would be easier to understand that we are not truly separate from the ocean but exist alongside it as parts of a single, interconnected organism. Once we incarnate these values and ideas, the planet will naturally return to a state of health.