Marine has been a great source of income for the people and it also gives a glamorous scenes. Ecosystem, according to A.G. Tansley is “a particular category of physical systems, consisting of organisms and organic components in a relatively stable equilibrium, open and of various sizes and kind” and the marine ecosystem is the largest ecosystem (Sadik, 2018). 71 percent of the world is made up of water so most of the pollutants in the atmosphere fall on it and human has become greedy that they are not satisfied with the needs, which lead to polluting of marine and environmental degradation. (Rajagopalan, 2013).
The marine ecosystem has been greatly affected throughout the world. The main sources of the marine pollutions are the polluted rivers, oil drilling and shipment, sewage and the industrial discharges (Kaushik, 2016) and also the waste disposal is the most concerned situation in many parts of the world. The main factor, which caused marine pollution, is the human beings. The fishes show the high mortality because the fish gills get laden with oil after the slimy mucus of gills is affected (Kaushik, 2016) and some birds die because of the fishing nets. The poisonous chemicals, which lead to sudden death, affect some of the marine animals and it affects the whole marine ecosystem.
The industries since its establishment had both positive and negative impacts on the society. With the change in time it started to bring more negative impacts not only to the human society but also to the other living beings. The waste products from the industries are mostly dumbed in the marine. Those wastes cause deaths to the marine animals and further affecting the food chain. The ballast water containing residual oil from tankers are released into the sea on completion of return journey (Kaushik, 2016). These oils flow on the surface and it affects the birds that depend on the marine animals as their wings gets stained by the oils and makes them difficult to fly.
India is the world’s second largest populated area and its philosophy is Gross Domestic Product. India’s Gross Domestic Product was 2.264 trillion USD in 2016 (World Development Indicators, n.d.). So it mainly concentrates in development of industries rather than preserving the environment.
The industrial revolution draws back since the time of British rule in India. With the development of industries much of the India’s environment were exploited. After the independence from the British rule the Indian government tried to develop their country in a blinded way. They didn’t give much importance to the environment so the environment was degraded rapidly. With the development of large-scale industries the production of goods was also high but the wastes from those goods were never dumped properly. Those goods were transported in many ways such as in the shipping process and airways. During the transportation the sewages and the garbage are dumped in the marine since they lack proper sanitation.
The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment observed that, “the capacity of the sea to assimilate wastes and render them harmless and its ability to regenerate natural resources are not unlimited”(Stockholm, 1972). With the second largest population, India throws garbage and pollutes the marine. Hence affecting the marine life and its ecosystem. Many of the garbage and sewage are disposed illegally into the marine and the Indian government has been facing a lot of problems. The Indian government is trying to enact laws in order to protect the marine animals and to keep the marine clean. But it is still difficult task to do cause ocean doesn’t have a definite boundaries like land.
The marine pollution is not only a concern for the Indian Government but also to the whole world. Every country’s ocean is being polluted just like in India and it became a global issue. The countries are facing the extinction of rare marine animals and a high death rate of marine animals. It not only affects the marine ecosystem but also the health of the human as the human consumes the poisoned marine animals.
Statement of purpose
Human has been a change factor to the marine ecosystem in a bad way. Human has been greedy that they only cared for their profit and neglected the environment impacts. The whole ecosystem of marine has been affected in such a way that it lead to massive unusual death. The unusual growth of massive algae leads to eutrophication leading to disturbance in the marine ecosystem. Many of the population depend on meat and when they consume those poisoned marine animals, it hampers the health of the people. Thus when people pollute the marine it not only hampers in the eco system of the marine but also to the lives of the people.
The study area was mainly focused on Indian Ocean and the Kerala because India is the neighbor country of Bhutan and India is the world’s second largest populated country. So it is an interesting thing to research on how the country is trying to overcome the pollutions and how it is being affected. It mainly represents the impacts of human in the marine ecosystem and what are the possible ways to overcome it.
Sewage includes,” drainage and other wastes from any form of toilets, urinals, and WC scuppers; drainage from medical premises (dispensary, sickbay, etc.) via wash basins, wash tubs and suppers located in such premises; drainage from spaces containing living animals; or other waste waters when mixed with the drainages defined above” (MARPOL, Annex.IV). Initially, “Throw it into ‘Davy Jones’ Locker” was generally the policy when the vessels used to simply throw into the ocean ship generated waste overboard (“Indian Law on Control of Vessel Sourced Pollution in Maritime Ports”, n.d., p. 172). The sewages that are deposited into the marine cause oxygen depletion as they use up oxygen while decomposing. Also it brings disease in the marine life as the sewages contain bacteria and viruses that are harmful. As the sewages contain some nutrients it leads to the growth of algal in the ocean. Algal blooms was observed in the north Indian Ocean every year on seasonal basis which lead to oxygen depletion resulting in the death of marine animals (Rajagopalan, 2013).
There was a petition filed before the High Court of Kerala for restricting the dumping of sewage and garbage from visiting vessels in the Cochin Port area and public areas (“Plea against Dumping of Wastes from Ships”, 2011). So the solution was every sea going vessels should have International Sewage Pollution Prevention Certificate. As per the revised Annex every ship of 400 gross tonnage and above carrying 15 or more persons need to have equipped with an approved sewage treatment plan on board (“Indian Law of Control of Vessel Sourced Pollution in Maritime Ports”, n.d., p. 174).
Garbage means to “include all kinds of food, domestic and operational waste, excluding fresh fish, generated during the normal operation of the vessel and liable to the disposed of continuously or periodically” (Indian Law on Control of Vessel Sourced Pollution in Maritime Ports, n.d, p. 175). Marine litter is defined by the National Academy of Sciences as solid materials of human origin that are discarded at sea or reach the sea through waterways or domestic and industrial outfalls (Farmer, 1997, p. 157). As per the United Nations Environmental Program the volume of plastic litter floating over the ocean is estimated over 13,000 pieces on every square kilometer. It was found out that India dumps 0.6 tones of public wastes into ocean annually (Prasad, 2015).
It was found out that large numbers of birds, turtles, and mammals are killed by entanglement in or ingestion of non-biodegradable waste (Rajagopalan, 2013, p. 198). Some of the garbage contains toxins, which attacks the nervous systems of fishes leading to massive fish kills. When the other animals eat these fishes they get infected too. Thus leading to the breakdown of ecosystem. The fishing nets which are left behind becomes damaged and discarded, and yet continue to entrap fish and other life for many years which is known as ‘ghost fishing’ (Farmer, 1997).
Annex V restricts discharge of garbage and bans disposal of plastics and other synthetic materials such as ropes, fishing nets and plastic garbage bags at sea with limited exceptions (Pearce, 1992). The Indian government has been taking initiative to reduce the wastes such as making products, which can be reused and utilizing plastic for road surfacing. Also the government is introducing different products made out of wastes such as plastic hat and so on.
The India being the world’s second largest populated country, the people pollutes the environment at an alarming rate. When people pollute the environment it causes a drastic death to the animals. Thus breaking the whole chain of ecosystem. India has been focusing more on industries than environment leading to rapid degradation of environment. With the degradation of environment India has been facing a lot of difficulties. People deposit the sewage and garbage into the oceans leading to the massive death of marine animals due to the presence of chemicals and toxins. With those effects the government are trying their best at bringing a best change in the environment such as educating people on the impacts of wastes and sewages. People also started to do business using the wastes such as making hats out of plastics and so on.