Course Outline

As scuba divers, we all have a duty to protect the ocean that we use as a food source and a place of leisure. Humans are the greatest single factor in the degradation of ocean water quality and fish stocks. If we ignore this important fact, there can be possible negative consequences for a resource that needs to be managed properly.

The world population is growing, and one of the main sources of food is the ocean. This resource relies on a delicate balance to retain its marine animal stock. Its eco-structure is a finely tuned mechanism that is affected by changes in many parts of the marine-animal food chain. For example, if we over fish pelagic animals, the predators of this group need to find life-supporting food elsewhere or their numbers will decline. The fish that the pelagic animals prey on may increase in number and affect the next part of the food chain. All are connected.

Pollution from humans is another major source of negative impact on marine environments. The material that we allow to flow into our rivers causes run off that reaches the ocean and, therefore, has an effect on that environment. Habitats become degraded and can no longer support the marine life that lives in them. So, the process affects the food chain from the bottom up.

The ocean is an amazing and mysterious part of our world. We are only just discovering much of its wonders and learning how it affects the planet as a whole. There is so much more to explore, discover, and record. New marine animal species are still being found as part of a growing movement of study, appreciation, and protection.

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