The ocean is in grave danger. It is becoming a scary desert. The reasons for that are numerous, they partly come from the nature, but the man’s actions are very important factor here.
It is enough just to look into the waters of the Pacific Ocean off the California coast, and to get the proof of this serious truth. The water became clear, completely transparent, which indicates the absence of life.
The information about the increasing number of stranded animals, provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is disturbing. Experts cannot tell for sure why this is happening, but the fact is that 2,700 sea lions have already been stranded this year, which means that the number of stranded animals is more than doubled, comparing to the year of 2013. Experts think that the reason for that is insufficient amount of food, which is the consequence of the unusual warmth of the ocean water.
As NOAA stated, the weather pattern known as an El Nino, increased the temperature of the water by three and a half to six degrees. Squids, sardines and anchovies, which are the main food of sea lions, cannot stand warm water, they are moving towards north, and the sea lions are staying desperate, without food. They have to go hunting, but if they are physically unprepared for that, like the pups usually are, it is likely that they won’t survive the hunt.
Seabirds on the Washington State coast are also endangered. As a matter of fact, the largest mass die-offs of seabirds ever, have been recorded on the beaches of the Washington State. Somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 of dead birds were found on those beaches. Many of them were found among piles of litter.
It looks that the list of endangered animals has no end. Last year, millions of starfish died along the West Coast. Such cases bring attention to the possibility of extinction of some species. As experts say, the cause of the mass starfish deaths is, again, the warmth of the water, and an unknown virus.
The Pacific Ocean has always been sensitive to changes in water temperatures. Whenever bigger temperature oscillation happened, some species suffered, because that change affected the food chain.
The population of sardines has also been decimated. A fisherman from Canada described his experience of staying without a catch after a 12 hours of fishing. This information is quite worrying because sardines were considered to be the most plentiful fish in coastal waters.
Despite all the suggestions and analyses, nobody can be sure why the ocean is dying, but it is evident that the ocean population significantly decreases in number. Sure, the most dangerous situations are those where the reduction of the population leads to the extinction of some species.
These extreme cases have been recorded among birds, fish and marine invertebrates.
Possible reasons for these tragic events are various, but most certainly, huge part of responsibility is on humans. People are responsible for many different forms of environmental pollution. They use strong chemicals in agricultural and livestock production. When these substances end up in the water, the effect on fish populations is negative.
If those chemicals don’t kill the marine life, it will probably impair many species in many different ways. For example, this could cause changing the sex of fish, or changing the behavior of shrimps.
Fish are in danger even on fish farms because they are exposed to chemicals on purpose. For example, it is very common to find antibiotics in the water where fish are raised, and sometimes antibiotics are even injected into the fish bodies. Worse case is when farmers raise their fish in the ocean, which means that antibiotics meant for the raised fish, spread and automatically affect wild fish.
There is probably no need to mention how harmful the dumping of raw sewage and garbage can be.
The most recent case of pollution-caused massive die-off included numerous bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico, after being exposed to petroleum. Oil spill contaminated the water, and caused fatal lung infection that killed many dolphins.