THE EFFECT OF POLLUTION ON MARINE LIFE. A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON BIOCHEMISTRY
The effects of marine pollution on marine life are extensive, impacting on the flora, fauna and entire ecology of the marine environment. In most cases, apart from direct impact on the living resources, marine pollutants tends to adversely alter or degrade the environment to extreme conditions that are beyond the tolerance or adaptation limits of the living resources therein. The marine environment, the organisms, and the types of marine pollution and how these pollutions affect the marine life are discussed. A review of some of the control measures, methods and techniques put in place in recent years to solve these problems are also discussed. There are emphasizes on how awareness and public/private participation can lead to a sustainable marine environment. It can pave way, mitigating global warming, preserving and protecting precious marine resources.
The importance of water for sustenance of life cannot be overemphasized. Be it for microorganisms, plants, plankton, aquatic animals, benthos and the entire marine life or for man, it’s importance remain immeasurable. It is therefore, important to note that depletion of this natural resource either through contamination, or careless use results in serious consequence.
Man’s activities sometimes, bring about undesirable changes in the physical, biological and chemical characteristics of the natural environment. This is termed pollution. It may be harmful to human or non-human life. This may affect the soil, rivers, the atmosphere, or the seas (causing harm to marine life).
Marine life is a vast resource, providing food, medicine, and raw materials, in addition to helping to support recreation and tourism all over the world. At a fundamental level, marine life helps determine the very nature of our planet. Many species are economically important to humans including both finfish and shellfish. Large areas beneath the ocean surface still remain unexplored (Nybakken and Bertness, 2005).
The marine environment supplies many kinds of habitats that support marine life. Marine life depends in some way on the saltwater that is in the sea (Dickinson, 1963). It is an ecosystem which includes a host of organisms ranging from tiny planktons to large whales. Marine habitats can be divided into pelagic (found near the surface or in the open water column, away from the bottom of the ocean) and demersal (near or on the bottom of the ocean) habitats. (Nybakken and Bertness, 2005).