Why is it the need of the hour to prevent waste from being dumped into oceans?
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October 7, 2022

Why is it the need of the hour to prevent waste from being dumped into oceans?

On earth, about 70% is water and all the water bodies like oceans, seas play an essential role in human lives. This indispensability of the oceans and other water bodies has led to the exploitation of these resources. Human Beings have intervened in their ecosystem and mistreated the resources, eventually leading to several species’ extinction. Ocean dumping is fundamentally any deliberate disposal of wastes or any kind of man-made structures into the oceans. It includes all kinds of waste, especially wastes from industries, sewage, and factories. These days, construction material is also being dumped into the ocean which is further aggravating the issue of mistreating the water bodies, especially oceans. All of this is resulting in serious environmental issues and marine life extinction which requires immediate attention.

There are various reasons which are leading to ocean dumping, the first and foremost being sewer

and industrial waste; Huge volume of waste being dumped into oceans is from ships, factories, and industries, and they are not treated beforehand. Also, sometimes the sewer drainage pipes are directly going into oceans, and they contain numerous types of viruses and bacteria. This carelessness while dumping sewage and industrial waste is leading to ocean pollution. Another major cause of ocean dumping is the Cargo Activities that take place at the port; Cargo that sweeps from the ships dumps the waste as they leave the port and materials like coal, and limestone is found in the oceans during the waste removal processes. Also, cargo accidents take place resulting in oil spillage or toxic material released into the ocean. Direct dumping of plastic waste also takes place. This is one of the major contributors to ocean dumping and since plastic is non-biodegradable and one-time-use material, so it remains in the ocean for thousands of years. There are agricultural run-offs as well, i.e., excess chemical fertilizers used while farming, mix with the irrigation water and run-off to the nearest water bodies like rivers and eventually end up in the ocean.

Giving attention to all of this and putting a stop to ocean dumping is the need of the hour. Ocean dumping is imposing adverse effects on the environment, human health, and marine life. The direct impact is on Marine Life. All types of ocean dumping are resulting in marine life extinction there is a blockage in respiration of the species and on their breeding grounds. Sunlight is blocked which as well is important for photosynthesis. Diseases are spread due to the presence of viruses and bacteria. In some cases, plastics are also thought of as food by some marine species, and the consumption of the same leads to death. Not only marine species, but human beings also are likely to develop health complications, especially those living in coastal areas, whose lives and earnings are dependent on fish. The toxic substances if consumed by fish will result in toxic substances being introduced into the human being’s body that consumes the fish which will eventually result in diseases like food poisoning and also serious ones like Paralysis, Brain Damage due to consumption of poisoned seafood like crabs and shrimps. Contaminated oceans lead to a decline in tourism as well due to the oceans looking unclean and their water turning into a black or green color.

The ocean is certainly not a dumping ground. Nearly two-thirds of the world’s marine life is threatened due to the carelessness of ocean dumping, and unquestionably it is the need of the hour that human beings understand this, and steps are taken to curb this.

Bhumika Choudhary
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