Small Amounts are Still Relevant
Cleaning pollution that resides in the ocean has direct consequences that harms life living in it, as well as outside of it. Unintentional harm from several techniques cleaning the seas can hinder or even kill unsuspecting marine life, especially from dispersants. Whether it is plastic waste never fading in the sea, oil spills, or even emissions from seafaring vehicles, any attempts to clean these issues will add further damage to the ocean itself and the life that lives in or around it including humans.
When pollution is being cleaned, one could argue that the amount of waste added as well as the damage dealt doesn’t compare to the amount of pollution that is being cleaned, as more good is being done than harm. Although that is true, many lives within the ocean will be harmed in potentially more severe ways. With the example of oil nets that clean up oil spills or emissions from aquatic vehicles, although there exists chances of animals being harmed, a good quantity of pollutants is being taken out of the environment. While this is mostly positive, the few lives in question would be snuffed out due to these efforts. It would be unfair as well as cruel to dismiss the possibility of loss of life, no matter if the loss in question is a fish or bird.
Dispersants are chemicals in which they are poured on oil spills, “dispersing” the pollution so that it appears to be clean, however there very well may be more harm than benefits with this method. With a notable quote from (http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/the-weird-way-cleaning-up-oil-spills-can-actually-harm-animals/) “While it would be nice to believe that dispersants rid the ocean of oil forever, the truth of the matter is that dispersants do not reduce the amount of oil entering the environment. Instead, they literally just push the problem (a combination of oil AND chemicals) underwater where we can’t see them …” and “ Not only does it appear that our methods of cleaning up oil spills are ineffective, but the chemicals used in dispersants are also damaging marine life. Dispersants wreak havoc in ocean environments, and have proven to be harmful to many marine organisms.” These quotes show the dangers and effects of a single type of “rescue” people use to clean up oil spills.These dispersants spread the oil to eventually settle on the seabed, where it causes arguably more harm than it did on the surface. From being in the same environment as these harmful chemicals and toxins, marine life become not only tainted but also hindered by these toxins, passing the harmful effects to human were they caught and ingested. The effects of a product of humans seeking to help the ocean and those who benefit and live within it inadvertently negatively impacts the beings who are dedicated to it.
Dispersants deployed on oil spills near coral reefs may be more harmful to them than the oil itself. Done by an organization publishing their research on “ACS Publications”, a group of scientists and oceanographers revealed that dispersants were more harmful to coral than crude oil. “The dispersed oil and the dispersants were significantly more toxic than crude oil WSFs.” alongside a series of tests, this was the conclusion they discovered. Again, the opposition to my overall thesis is that more good may be done than harm in the overall scheme of cleaning ocean pollution, however this example proves that more than just the well being of the cleanliness of the water is at stake.
With today’s technology, there is simply no plausible way to rid the ocean of all its maladies while also ensuring the lives that are affected by the status of the ocean remains intact. Another refutation to my claim are certain concepts, such as wind, solar, and ocean current power. Although these technologies exist, there are no reported sources of these means setting out to complete the end where ocean pollution will fully be quenched. Sailboats do and have existed for many centuries, and perhaps certain means can be taken in order to utilize them for pollution cleanup although as of now that option isn’t the most viable due to the extent that pollution reaches; sailboats even in a fleet would not be the best option for skimming or other forms of pollution cleanup. With anything that is done to clean up pollution, from using boats to clean up floating plastics, driving cars to clean beaches, skimming oil with boats either sail or engine powered, and any of the plethora of methods will still add pollution and harm to the world as well as the ocean, regardless of how minute an amount.