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 will be possible negative consequences for a resource that needs to be managed properly.
The world population is growing, and one of humanity’s 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 affected by changes in many parts of the food chain. For example, if we overfish smaller fish, larger predators will need to find life-supporting food elsewhere. On the other hand, if we remove too many of the large fish, smaller prey species may increase in number and affect the next part of the food chain. The marine environment is a completely balanced and self-sustaining system until humans disturb it.
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 formerly thrived. So, this 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.