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June 29, 2019

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Dubbed as the Earth’s final frontier, the mysterious depths of the ocean are known to absorb much of the physical impact human activity has on this planet. The sad part is that a lot of our activities that are harming the ocean are purely meant to feed our selfish desire for entertainment and convenience. Here’s a look at some common things we persistently do that are actively damaging marine ecosystems. 

1. Boating

Whether you’re on a small speed boat or vacationing on a giant cruise ship—vessel strikes can be fatal to many marine animals. Sea otters, sea turtles, whales and dolphins have all been victims of such accidents. The strike itself doesn’t kill the animal but it often leaves them severely injured to the point that they can’t swim, dodge predators or get their food.

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2. Fishing

Commercial fishing groups have long been exploiting oceans by using irresponsible techniques to capture animals. Many fisheries make use of longline fishing and bottom trawling methods that captures not only the intended creature but also other keystone species. Sea turtles, seabirds and dolphins are common by-catch victims and are also prone to getting trapped and tangled in fishing lines.

3. Agri-pollution

Agriculture-based activities like factory farming and private lawn maintenance are just some of the many ways how our use of coastal lands is destroying shoreline waters. When excess fertilizers and nutrients seep into the sea, they cause the growth of algae. The algae take up a significant amount of oxygen from the water, making it inhabitable for other marine creatures. The result is ocean dead zones—places where no marine animal or plant can survive.

4. Oil spills

Human dependency on fossil fuels like oil is wreaking havoc on the marine environment. Oil spills are no longer rare occurrences and many times the residue from the spill can be found near the shoreline decades later. But that’s not the only drawback of an oil spill disaster. Feather or fur-bearing animals like sea otters repel water currents to keep themselves warm are not able to insulate because of oil pollution. This also damages their sense of sight, smell and respiratory function, leading to their eventual demise.

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5. Plastic pollution

Plastic is everywhere and it’s no surprise so much of it lands up in our oceans. Plastic pollution kills hundreds of thousands of marine mammals and over a million seabirds, who either mistake plastic for food or become entangled and injured by it. Add to that, the fact that most plastics are non-biodegradable and can persist in polluting the ocean for an indefinite period of time.

As the supreme species on Earth, we often forget that our planet is meant to be shared with over 8 million other living species. If you want to save the ocean and protect our marine friends from harm, help us make a bigger impact!

The Ocean Vibe is dedicated to raising awareness about issues that affect our ocean and has been contributing a portion of its net income to the Sea Turtles Preservation Association and The Ocean Conservancy. Shop someocean-themed shirts and play your part! Free shipping for all orders above $100!

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