This paper reports the impact of pollution on marine ecosystem; it analyses the factors responsible for degradation and suggests suitable corrective measures. Around the world, marine ecosystems are being threatened, degraded, damaged or destroyed by human activities, one of which is pollution The rapid population growth and enormous urban and coastal development in many of the world's coastal regions have caused considerable concern that anthropogenic pollution may reduce biodiversity and productivity of marine ecosystems, resulting in reduction and depletion of human marine food resources. In addition, pollution reduces the aesthetic value and also the intrinsic value of the marine environment, whether the pollution is visual (such as oil pollution and plastic debris) or invisible (such as chemical compounds). The recent pictures coming out of the oil spills off the Gulf of Mexico in the United States and also the container tanker collision off the Mumbai coast are vivid examples. Another main reason for concern about marine pollution is related to the direct effects of pollution on human health. Because many pollutants accumulate in marine organisms, humans are exposed to pollutants when they consume food from polluted areas. Marine pollution occurs when unsustainable elements gain entry to water masses, potentially causing spread of invasive organisms, diseases and can turn water quality potentially toxic. Most sources of marine pollution are land based, such as wind blown debris, industrial / domestic pollutants discharged and potential spillovers from freight/ bulk ocean carriers. When toxins are concentrated upward within the ocean food chain, many elements combine in a manner highly depletive of oxygen, causing estuaries to become anoxic. As these materials are incorporated into the marine eco system, they quickly become absorbed into marine food webs. Once in the food webs, these cause mutations, as well as diseases, this can be harmful to humans as well as the entire food web. Globalization has brought in its wake increased demand on scarce resources leading to rapid depletion of a wide range of non degradable products viz., metals, plastics, rubber products, which in turn generate huge amounts of solid wastes causing pollution at the entry of marine waters. Besides the coastal regions of India are characterized by slums, with poor sanitation facilities aggravating the problem. Suggestions are offered, both invasive and non invasive which can definitely reduce the burden placed on our valuable resources which may soon vanish unless the counter measures are implemented effectively.
Marine Ecosystem, Anthropogenic Pollution, Estuaries, Poor Sanitation
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If you are reading this article, chances are that you're an educated and informed person. Indians have proved to the world that we are no 'less' than anyone. We've marshalled science, arts, literature, technology and several other spheres of life, but there's one thing where we severely lack - social etiquettes.
Our houses are clean and swapped with elegance, but the surroundings are filthy and unkept. All thanks to the social negligence that Mumbai's sea have now become the most polluted in the world.
From cigarette butts to plastic bags, from food-beverage containers to ceramics -- you will find everything on a Mumbai seashore. And it's not just Mumbai, but Kerala and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are there on the list too.
The comprehensive data research which will now be called as the Litter base has been put together by the researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Germany. They have penned a list of 1,237 scientific studies on marine litter and related subjects.
The study basically studies and identifies global locations with the highest amount of marine litter.
But anyway, it's not a surprise that Mumbai found itself a spot on this list, after all, we have been ruining the sea for so many decades now. There are just so many everyday activities that contribute to this -Ganesh Visarjan, throwing plastic bottles in the sea, dumping garbage on a large scale etc, made the Mumbai coast the worst of the lot.
The database that studies the litter on these beaches found out that there were 68.83 items a sqm at four beaches – Juhu, Versova, Dadar and Aksa — most of it (41.85%) were microplastics ranging in size from 1m to 5m.
The highest amount of microplastics were found at Juhu beach (55.33%), followed by Versova (28.8%), Dadar (18.6%) and Aksa (7.9%).
Domestic waste, industrial waste, recreational and religious activities have long been the reason for marine pollution, putting the life of animals in danger. Not only do they contaminate water on a very large scale, but also make the human population around it extremely vulnerable to diseases.
Could this be an eye opener for folks in Mumbai to reduce littering?