NAME: dependence and carelessness towards oceans has

NAME: SABA HASSAN

COMPUTER
NUMBER: 15343

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CLASS:
10G4

THE
WESTMINSTER SCHOOL

INDIVIDUAL
RESEARCH INVESTIGATION.

 

BIODIVERSITY
AND ECOSYSTEM LOSS

 

To
what extent do human activities effect marine biodiversity and ecosystem loss?

To begin with, the oceans cover 70% of our planet. The
ocean is home to millions of species. The loss of marine
biodiversity is continuously weakening the ocean ecosystem. Life in the ocean
is an essential component of climate regulation. For ages, our dependence and
carelessness towards oceans has been causing harm to the world’s oceans and
today our blue planet that we call earth is in deep crisis.

 

Global
perspective:

Hong
Kong: Hong Kong’s great
marine biodiversity that includes about 1000       marine fish species has drastically
deteriorated. The marine ecosystems face a lot of threats that have had a bad
effect. Scientists have research and predicted that the local waters are at the
verge of ecosystem collapse, which would have a disastrous effect on marine
biodiversity.

Philippines:  Climate change and the frequent use of fossil
fuels there is damaging the ocean. Climate change is considered a very serious
threat to the oceans. Rising temperatures due to global warming are weakening
marine species. Marine life is also damaged by ocean acidification, when
excessive amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes the sea water to
become more acidic.

Australia:
Australia is home to The Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system on
Earth which is even visible from outer space. It’s incredibly rich and diverse.
It’s
home to countless species of colorful fish, mollusks and starfish, turtles,
dolphins and shark but sadly The Great Barrier Reef has been given a D on a
report card for its overall health for the fifth year in a row. The results of
the annual report card were based on data collected before this year’s climate
change-induced bleaching event that killed about a fifth of the reef’s coral,
suggesting next year’s results will be even worse.

National
Perspective:

U.A.E:
In U.A.E there have been oil spills at the oceans especially at the capital
that is Abu Dhabi. The oils chemical constituents are poisonous to few marine
species. The construction of artificial islands has also been effecting marine
life, marine biologists showed that the newly-born fish could not survive in
conditions along the shores of Dubai due to constant construction and
environmental alterations. Overall the construction of artificial islands has
decreased U.A. E’s aquatic life drastically.

Personal Perspective:

Personally, I try to do
what I can to help this. For example, whenever I visit the beach I make sure it
is clean and no plastic reaches the water as I know plastic is bad for marine
species and I try to raise awareness about this issue, as I think many people
are unaware of how badly humans have impacted upon marine biodiversity and
ecosystem loss. I had recently heard about The Great Barrier Reef dying and it
made me feel like we as humans are killing other species, this had made me more
interested in what is happening to the marine life and also more worried.

 

Case
Analysis:

As I’ve already talked
about what is happening, globally and nationally, for a better understanding of
the situations, we need to know the why it’s happening and what are its
consequences without which we cannot solve the problems.

Global
perspective:

Case
Analysis of Hong Kong

Causes:

Fish stocks have
dropped dramatically because of unsustainable fishing practices, regulations
not being strict and a lack of marine protected areas continue to worsen this
situation. Hong Kong began its life as a
fishing village and for years this industry has flourished. But development,
pollution and over-fishing all took their toll on marine biodiversity.

Consequences:

The Chinese white
dolphin and Finless porpoise that had made home in Hong Kong are now extremely
endangered. Marine life is drastically going down. At the moment, their marine
ecosystems are still diverse yet they lie on the verge of total collapse.
Furthermore, most of the city is dependent on the fishes for food and trade and
as there are now lesser fishes, poverty is increasing

Case
Analysis of Philippines

Causes:

Use of fossil fuels is warming
the oceans and making the sea water more acidic which means acidification is
taking place as well as global warming. Additionally, too much plastic,
specifically plastic bags is being thrown and a plastic bag floating on the sea
surface resembles a jelly-fish, which are eaten by many species of fish and
turtles, eating it is severely dangerous and has caused marine deaths. Too many
fishes are being fished out which too worsens the situation.

Consequences:

Fish catch is already
decreasing from years and many species living the oceans in Philippines are now
endangered such as, The Reef Manta Ray that’s the largest of all rays in the
whole world, Napoleon wrasse a tropical fish, Giant clams and many more marine
species are at the brink of extinction because of human activities. Global
warming is making the sea unsuitable for a lot of marine species resulting in
them having to move somewhere else which means habitat is loss.

Case
Analysis of Australia

Causes:

As a result of oddly
high ocean temperatures, some of the coral on The Great Barrier Reef has
suffered severely. Coral are now starving to death because of the rising ocean
temperatures and the raised levels of acid in the ocean which are causing the
algae to die; their food source. This together with the heat, keeps stressing
the coral until it finally starts turning white and starts to bleach.

Consequences:

The Great Barrier Reef
is recently being said to be dying. This year, Australia witnessed the most
upsetting mass coral bleaching event that has ever been recorded. The reef is
no longer as strong as it used to be before, and it’s having a hard time coping
with a total of 3 bleaching events in about only 18 years. About 93% of the
reef has been affected by the bleaching, which is currently putting the reef in
the verge of extinction. As it is very weak at the moment some people have said
that is dead, however there is still hope for it. As The Great Barrier Reef is
one of the most diverse ecosystems, there is a lot of biodiversity loss taking
place there at the moment.

National
Perspective:

U.A.E

Causes: Oil spills are
taking place at shores and the oils chemical constituents are poisonous to
marine organisms. This can affect organisms from both internal exposures to oil
through digestion or inhalation and from an external exposure through its skin
and eye irritations. Oil has also proven to smother few small species of fish. Due
to the construction of artificial island, marine biologists showed that the
newly-born fish could not survive in conditions along the shores of Dubai due
to constant construction and environmental alterations. It also caused disturbances
in the reproductive cycles of species of fish that were near the shores.

Consequences: The
number of marine organisms around U.A.E has been drastically dropping due to
this. Many species to which the shores were suitable no longer are so they are
now homeless which means habitat is loss. Oil spills have resulted in the death
of many fishes along the shores and as there are less fishes, fisherman are too
now at loss, they are either losing jobs or earning lesser income. U.AE is also
home to Dugong a marine mammal that is endangered and could be at risk for
extinction because of these reasons.

Future
scenarios

The future of marine
animal populations is determined in great part by two variables: the rate at
which the ocean is warming, and the rate of its exploitation. Where these rates
are low, the chance for adaptation and recovery will be increased. Where they
will continue rising, the loss of marine biodiversity will be severe. If we
continue to throw our waste in oceans, disturb marine ecosystems and global
warming. The future of marine ecosystems looks very devastating, to start with
there are many marine animals that are currently highly endangered, if we do
not give them much attention, this could be their end, the could extinct in a
few years. Reefs are home to most marine organisms and currently reefs are
getting weaker day by day, so at this pace in a near future they are bound to
be found completely dead. If we keep ignoring the fact that we are killing
marine species, the future obviously will lead to the death of marine organisms
and ecosystems. Hence, fishermen will no longer find enough fish to sell or
eat. The
food supply of the world in the future will be considerably changed due to habitat
loss. This change will trigger overwhelming worldwide consequences. The ocean
will no longer be as diverse as it is right now. The death of marine organisms
will also mean that oil found in the ocean which is made by marine organisms
will stop being produced.

 

Possible
Courses of Action:

Although marine
ecosystems current condition is getting worse and worse day by day but there is
still hope to reverse all of this only if we give it the attention it needs.
If
we want to see a healthy ocean free of pollution and full of life and
biodiversity we should firstly, sustainable fishing should be encouraged and
unsustainable fishing should be discouraged and made illegal as unsustainable
fishing leads to overfishing. The sewage waste thrown in oceans could first go
through water treatment as it pollutes the ocean and this should become a law
in all countries. Taking out oil from oceans should be done more carefully so
no oil spills are caused. We should try reducing global warming by reducing all
carbon emissions and the use of carbon sequestering so the temperature of our
oceans stop decreasing. Threatened and endangered species and marine habitats
should be protected by making sure that all species at-risk are fittingly
listed for protection and large marine protected areas should be established all
over the world and those already established should be enhanced. Lastly, the
most important thing is raising awareness, telling everyone what’s happening so
they to try to stop it. If a major junk of people does not even know what is
happening how can we all stop it?

Personal
Response:

I previously wasn’t as
aware of how big of an impact human activity has had on marine biodiversity and
ecosystems, I was aware that it did, but I didn’t think it would be this huge.
I now realize that marine species aren’t just dying but are being killed by our
hands in more ways than one, some ways that are direct some that we did not
think would even harm them. If the future our oceans will be lifeless we’ll
have no one to point fingers to but ourselves cause each of us in our ignorant
ways did contribute to this. None of us even realize that we are being
completely selfish not just to marine species but also to our own future
generations because the loss of marine life will in turn effect our future
generations when they have lesser food supply and less income is generated due
to less income. Now I want to make a difference, I want to spread this, I want
to persuade people to help this, I want to make them aware of everything they
are unknowingly doing. I want to make this small contribution to the betterment
of this situation.