6 major threats for marine life
1. Ship Strikes
Ship strikes are the leading culprit in the disappearance of the North Atlantic Right Whale. The Right Whale is only one of many marine mammal species that is at risk of being hit by high-speed ships. Over 90 manatees die prematurely due to ship strikes every year in Florida according to some researches.
2. Acoustic Pollution
To navigate their way through the ocean whales and dolphins rely on acoustics. These mammals need to this sound for communication, mating, foraging, and migration. The addition of loud noises from ships, sonar, drilling rigs, and other human sources can distort messages sent by marine mammals. Scientists believe that acoustic noise pollution prevents these mammals from being able to detect approaching ships or fishing nets, adding to the risk of being killed.
3. Fishing Net Problem
Two common types of fishing methods are trawling and gillnetting that involve running extremely long lengths of fishing net through open water. These nets are usually left in the sea and have been devastating to sharks, dolphins, sea turtles, and whales that accidentally get caught in them.
4. Oil Spills and Ocean Acidification
Oil spills that cause ocean acidification, have both short term and long term effects on marine mammals. Toxic chemicals in oil causes serious damage to the digestive system and internal organs of sea creatures like seals, otters, dolphins and so on. In the long term, exposure to petroleum can cause reproductive damage, making it difficult for populations to repopulate in the wake of oil spills.
5. Agricultural and Industrial Runoff
Fertilizer and pesticide runoff and industrial wastes from across the world pose a serious threat to marine mammal’s ecosystems. Runoff is especially problematic in coastal regions where the excess nitrogen from fertilizer can spawn massive algae blooms that deplete water of oxygen creating a “dead zone” for fish. “Death is the result of this runoff for ocean creatures”.
6. Global Warming
Global warming due to climate change effects highly on the lives of marine mammals, especially in the Arctic. This is because of habitat loss that is slowly melting away. So, mammals like the ringed seal must find new places to give birth and raise their young. The other effect of climate change is that the ocean absorbs more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and due to this global waters are becoming more acidic. This effect interrupts the food chain, leaving larger marine mammals without food sources, causing major damage to marine ecosystems across the entire world!