When one brings to mind the concept of ocean pollution, it may bring to mind sludge, trash, and plastic waste ensnaring marine life. A topic that is mostly left out of the media is the fact that dispersants sent into oil spills seeking to clean the ocean actually causes more harm than good. Although it seems very one sided in terms of definitions, there are many aspects that can be mentioned about it that provoke thoughts from a different perspective. From the physical description, where pollution resides in the ocean, to more political ways of description such as when pollution is caused by efforts seeking to rid it in the first place.
Although most of the pollution in the waters of Earth are mainly emissions from vehicles such as boats and cars, plastic and oil pollution is still very prevalent. Ocean pollution is both a very broad topic, while also being singular in the sense that there is pollution in the ocean. Compared to the simple, straightforward take on ocean pollution there also can be taken into account the political meaning of it. With so much damage being done to the ocean every day, alongside the influx of trash and plastic being dumped into it, the effects can and are harming both the ecosystems and the beings that live inside them as well as humans. From this article, it discusses the exact ways of how pollution is added to the oceans, “https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/causes-and-effects-of-ocean-pollution.php.” With all of this pollution being added through a multitude of ways, a solution must come to light soon or else there may be consequences that will be of a lingering enormity.
From the pollution being added to the pollution, a subcategory of this topic is also what happens once the harmful materials are in the water; harm to life. The fact of the matter is very frightening, as not only are the innocent marine animals being harmed, killed, and hindered through the sludge, humans in turn consume life from the ocean wherein the harmful effect is transferred to us as a whole. This is a concept that is very real, where the repercussions for humanities laziness that harms the environment also comes back around to not only humans, but all lifeforms that have the bad luck to reside in areas where pollution is prevalent. Although not every person eats seafood that was affected by pollution, those that have are more at risk for sickness as well as health problems, as consuming oil tainted fish is not the most pleasant thing to be eating. Although humans suffer greatly from this plague that we brought upon ourselves, entire environments are being put at risk. If specific groups of marine life are killed off or otherwise incapacitated from living their lives normally, entire ecosystems are in danger of being dwindled greatly, or completely disappear due to key roles being empty due to the harmful toxins that kills so equally.
Although it seems obvious, boats produce an incredibly large amount of pollution. These emissions then add to the ever increasing state of ocean pollution. The part that is somewhat obscure while being counterintuitive at the same time, is the fact that even in pollution cleaning efforts, pollution is at the same time being added to the ocean. With many operations with a focus on cleaning the ocean of trash and oil, they use boats to either skim the water or simply pick out pieces of floating rubbish. From a marine article”https://trid.trb.org/view/1420676″ comes information regarding the output of pollution that ships themselves produce. The concept of ocean pollution as a whole can also be applied to this situation; any efforts to rid the ocean of pollution will also add pollution to the very thing people set out to put an end to. Although a very frustrating concept, it is something that must be dealt with until a way of cleaning pollution without using any resources that will directly affect the ocean in a negative way. In a way, this is an extension of my previous statement that ocean pollution has a both singular and broad definition at the same time. Although troubling but still unique, there are many ways that ocean pollution can be applied to modern topics of debate as it is something that is lingering above, or at the very least at the edge of our shores, at all times.
Although there is no definitive “perfect way” to rid the ocean of pollution, nearly every way that we as a whole have to potentially solve this issue also contributes to the fact. With this in mind, perhaps alternative methods must be used such as sailboats or free-floating nets that capture and collect waste automatically with no reliance on power that directly expels waste. Although many potential methods are not in use, there still is a vast amount of opportunity that awaits. With the subject of various world leaders on this issue, it seems as if not much research is going into this issue aside from private groups that seek to diminish the pollution of the ocean. An article from “LiveScience” explains several methods of how these groups are participating in the relief efforts of the ocean state “There are four basic ways to clean or contain an oil spill, and workers determine the most appropriate method depending on the location of the spill, potential hazards, weather conditions, waves and currents”. Although this is a bold claim that there are only four, one of these cause more harm than good, and that entry is dispersants. Only praising the good of it, this specific article does not show how treacherous that “solution” can be. Another method used is the action of simply skimming the ocean with nets to capture several feet worth of pollution, such as trash or oil emissions. This does have several issues, such as contributing to the pollution by using fuel consuming vehicles, it also can potentially ensnare marine life that are unaware that they are about to be tangled. Although this is not outright pollution, it is still considered damage to the environment because life is potentially being harmed.
With all of the things that are a potential source of damage to the environment of the ocean and not a large amount of ways to diminish it, there is still hope. Although efforts to help using boats to slowly chip away at the immense amount of pollution, the amount of pollution that said efforts emit are not as large as the amount of damage that they in turn clean up. Yes, there still is pollution being added, although not always is it more than what is being taken. With this somewhat dark mindset, if more people were to contribute to the cleaning of the pollution that is so numerous in the ocean, the small amount of pollution the efforts may add are a cost that must be paid for the ocean to be at least more clean than it was before cleaning exhibitions were made. I believe that if people were to apply the knowledge of the fact that boats add emissions, by traversing carefully and ethically the pollution that takes so many forms may very well be lessened in the coming years.
- “Causes and Effects of Ocean Pollution.” Conserve Energy Future, 20 Jan. 2017, http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/causes-and-effects-of-ocean-pollution.php.
- Yılmaz, and Başar. “Investigation of Marine Pollution Caused by Ship Operations with DEMATEL Method.” Home – Transport Research International Documentation – TRID, 31 May 2016, trid.trb.org/view/1420676.
- Chow, Denise. “How Are Oil Spills Cleaned?” LiveScience, Purch, 5 Apr. 2010, http://www.livescience.com/32524-how-are-oil-spills-cleaned.html.