When sailing San Diego, it is easy to find yourself taken aback by the beauty and serenity of the sites and sounds. You likely do not consider any of the habitat’s threats when out on the water. It is too easy to relax and forget that the oceans face legitimate threats daily, from pollution to unauthorized hunting and trapping.
If you love the water and appreciate the vast life that thrives within it, you need to understand the problems the environment is facing. You can do things to support the oceans, but before you can do that, you need to know how people also create the need for help in the first place.
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What Threats Does Aquatic Life Face?
As you enjoy whale watching La Jolla, consider the many challenges marine life faces. One of the most significant threats to ocean life is plastics and debris. The human population discards nearly eight million tons of bottles, packaging, plastic bags, and more into the ocean every year. Aside from a significant entangling and choking hazard, these materials break apart over time, leaching toxic chemicals into the oceans and being swallowed by marine life.
Another threat to marine wildlife is commercial fisheries, specifically the nets and traps they use. Many marine animals, from whales to dolphins to turtles and seals, become entangled in the netting and lines meant for other species. In fact, whales can become so entangled during their migrations that the lines slow the animal down to the extent that it starves.
Boat collisions and manufactured noise are also increasing threats to ocean wildlife. While whales are large mammals, they are no match for freighters and other large shipping vessels. Collisions can catastrophically injure whales and other sea creatures. Additionally, animals like whales and dolphins use sonar for hunting and communicating. The noises from seismic exploration, shipping, and military exercises disrupt natural communication and hunting strategies, threatening the survival of animal species.
Finally, climate change is having a significant impact on ocean life. As global temperatures increase, people will continue to see the decline of coral reefs. Additionally, increased carbon dioxide is leading to increased acidification in the ocean, dissolving the shells of many crustaceans, such as shrimp and lobster.
Doing Your Part To Help Save Our Oceans
There is an influence of ocean in human life, and the balance is reciprocal. The more people do to save the oceans, the more they will benefit from them. However, it can often feel like the oceans’ problems and threats are too great for individuals to make a difference, but significant progress can be made when people act collectively. Several things you can do to help the oceans include:
- Reduce waste
- Reduce plastic dependence
- Conserve water
- Use less energy
- Practice safe boating
- Fish responsibly
There is no denying that human populations have caused most of the problems in the oceans. Therefore, it is up to humanity to correct the issues. Contact a local oceanic organization to find out what you can do to help your local oceans and waterways.