Covering more than 70 percent of Earth, water bodies are the home of many species but are threatened in many ways, and this in staggering amounts.
This is a major source of concerns as they represent major resources. I propose you in today’s article an overview of the main threats.
According to the data provided by Le Figaro Magazine ( Sauver les océans, February 17, 2007)
- Six millions of tons of waste are disposed of in oceans and seas each year, with a multitude of causes, including residues from agriculture (mainly fertilizers which cause eutrophication) ;
- 80 percent of waste water around the world finish in the seas (I don’t have any exact figure on how much that makes, but the amount must be huge) ;
- It is estimated there are several millions of plastic bags scattered in the 361 million square kilometers of oceans, with one or two each hectare. This is a major problem as turtles and other animals confound them with food (picture right) ;
- Even if oil spills – like the Amoco Cadiz, the Exxon Valdez or more recently the Erika – are impressive, they represent a very small part of oceans pollutions by hydrocarbons. Two third of marine pollution come straight from land, via rivers and rains.
- If this wasn’t enough already, at least 75,000 tons of nuclear waste have been dumped into oceans between the Second World War and the 1980s. Still on nuclear waste, one has to take into account the 31 shipwrecks of submarines or plane crashes with nuclear materials involved.
This is now time to change this if we want to preserve the magnificent diversity and life of these places. If nothing was done, they could become lifeless deserts. The European Union is moving, slowly, but moving toward the right direction.
To finish this article, I would like to link you to the Cousteau Society which has been acting for the preservation of seas for a long time and as kid I watched Jacques Yves Cousteau’s documentaries with passion and wonder.
And you, what do you think of all this ?