Our oceans are desperate for immediate retrieval with such numerous ill-effects rapidly destroying them. But whenever there is a question of environmental preservation there is always a blame game where one never admits that their actions also have a significant effect on the environment and ends up blaming other causes. At the end, all hands would be pointed at industries. Well, it is affirmative that industries have to be a lot more responsible nevertheless every one of us should contribute to protection of our oceans. It can be as simple as refusing the usage of one-time plastics or having control over one’s carbon footprints.
At the commercial scale, many things have to be done to bring about a positive change like:
- controlled use of fertilizers and pesticides or following organic farming methods could largely control algal blooms and eutrophication.
- Proper construction of ships and periodic maintenance which can prevent oil spills and reduce noise from ships.
- Proper planning and use of accurate dredgers to minimize their disadvantages. When choosing the ocean floor for replacing the dredged sediment, proper study should be ensured. Only when it is confirmed that adding the new sediment doesn’t harm the ocean floor or its habitat in any way should this process be carried out. Dredging also helps in flood prevention though it is not the most ideal method. But usage of suction dredgers should definitely halt as they are not sustainable and harm many corals and animals.
- Replanting corals to compensate for the loss in their population due to environmental changes and human activities.
- Over-fishing can be controlled by having stricter guidelines for commercial fishing companies. It is these companies that exploit unlimited fishing permissions. They not only harm the oceans but also affect the livelihood of local fishermen as they cannot afford high-tech equipment like these companies and their overall sales decreases due to lack of commonly fished species. This can be prevented by using apps like seafood watch which get fisheries from proper fishers and do not sell endangered or threatened species.
- Fishes that take longer time to grow and reproduce in small numbers shouldn’t be fished.
- Deep sea trawling should strictly be stopped.
- One of the best solutions is larger reserved and protected oceans. These ocean floors are guarded and are free from human activities. Less than 2% of the ocean is reserved, it is estimated that a minimum 30% of our oceans should be protected in order to save our oceans.
An important sustainable activity which can also provide economical returns is currently being practiced in our oceans. This is aquaculture the breeding, rearing and harvesting of aquatic species in a commercial scale. This activity can help enrich endangered species as they are bred, fed and protected. These cultured fisheries are used for human consumption so that human needs are also satisfied while not destroying aquatic population. This is a profitable business and opens up a wide range of job opportunities.
Nevertheless, nothing is free of cost as even this has its disadvantages. Firstly, when fish has to be reared it has to be fed. The amount of wild forage fish killed is 3 times more than the reared fish. This can create an imbalance in the wild species affecting the food chain. The next issue is the large amount of nitrogenous excreta generated from the cultured species which depletes the oxygen content in the ocean. Furthermore, the cultured organisms are genetically different and less immune to diseases as they have been reared in a protected and confined environment. This makes them easily prone to diseases which can also spread swiftly. This can cause a lot of economical loss as well. Moreover, millions of fish escape from their confinement which can easily get attacked by diseases and can spread them faster too. These cultured fish have been found to be diluting wild species which reduces their immunity. When aquaculture regions are created, antibiotics, antifoulants, pesticides are introduced into the oceans which has side effects.
Not all aquaculture farms are made in oceans, some are even created in lakes and ponds. For example, shrimp culture is generally done in ponds found in mangrove forests. But this has led to destruction of many mangrove forests. Added to this, many ponds have to be cleared and the cultures shifted to new ponds as it has become too dirty and unfit for aquaculture. But, this can be prevented by proper cleaning and disinfecting of ponds. Mangrove destruction has also reduced drastically due to governmental intervention.
Every issue has its own solution. Human’s greed and ignorance are the sole reasons for such a traumatic situation. But even now change is possible. Many environmentalists and activists have been putting in tremendous efforts to save our oceans. As fellow beings we too can do our part by beginning with the smallest efforts like refraining from using one-time plastics, reusing them or doing our part in reducing global warming. Growing up to be great industrialists and businessmen we should realize sustainable development is equally as important as profit. It all begins with one’s own initiative. Let’s unite to save our oceans as nature’s end is humanity’s end.