Home Science Wildlife populations in the oceans have been badly damaged by human activity

Wildlife populations in the oceans have been badly damaged by human activity


A latest research reveals that there remain serious threats for the ocean life in the coming years, and human actions are largely responsible for this extremely undesirable outcome.

“We wanted to know how the health of wildlife on land matches up to the health of wildlife in the oceans,” said Douglas McCauley, lead author of the paper and professor of ecology, evolution and marine biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “What we see when we line up the amount of impact we’ve had is the oceans are in good shape if you compare them to how badly we’ve trashed wildlife on land,” reported Scientific American.

But with the constant inappropriate accumulation of industrial wastes in the oceans, scientist suspect that within next 100 years, the condition of ocean life would be as saddening as it is with the land animals at present.

But there lies hopes. According to Malin L. Pinsky, a marine biologist at Rutgers University and another author of the study, a better atmosphere for ocean species can still be revived.


The researchers further clarified that it is harder to carry out any study with species living underwater, especially when the study is related to their health. And also the changes observed are usually ocean specific and reflects the present condition of a particular ocean ecosystem; therefore few individual observations may not be the global trend as well.

In order to come up with a clearer picture, Dr. Pinsky, Dr. McCauley and their colleagues collected huge amount of data ranging from discoveries in the fossil record to statistics on modern container shipping, fish catches and seabed mining and the end result was remarkable.

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Human contribution is to be mostly blamed for this deterioration of ocean life. Coral reefs have witnessed a 40 percent lesser occurrence worldwide. Some fishes like Black see box have migrated from Virginia to New Jersey in search of cooler water. Mining operations are also responsible for the transformation of oceans. Climate change is another factor that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Proper plan to create more marine-protected areas, managing fishing efforts and regulating the industrial uses of the ocean are the steps that can be taken to make the oceans a better living place for the species; Stephen Palumbi, director of Hopkins Marine Station and professor at Stanford University added.


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