A recent study from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Germany stated, that the oxygen levels in the oceans have dropped significantly over the past half a century, owing to our own human activities such as the use of fossil fuels and dumping of fertilisers in the sea. A large proportion of all life on Earth lives in the ocean.  

The ocean is a complex three-dimensional world covering approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface. Marine life is a vast resource, providing food, medicine, and raw materials, in addition to helping to support recreation and tourism all over the world. The drop of Oxygen level could have a devastating effect on marine life as they rely on oxygen for their survival. For fisheries and coastal economies this process may have detrimental consequences. Land and air pollution have proven to be harmful to marine life and its habitats. The nitrogen-rich compounds found in fertiliser runoff are the primary cause of serious oxygen depletion in many parts of oceans, especially in coastal zones, lakes and rivers.  

The resulting lack of dissolved oxygen greatly reduces the ability of these areas to sustain oceanic fauna. The numbers of oceanic dead zones near inhabited coastlines are increasing. Similarly, climate change is raising ocean temperatures and raising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and acidifying the oceans. This, in turn, is altering aquatic ecosystems and modifying fish distributions, with impacts on the sustainability of fisheries and the livelihoods of the communities that depend on them. Industrial wastes like chemical solvents, paints, sandpaper, paper products, industrial by-products, metals, and radioactive wastes are also big threat to ecosystem. In Pakistan, there are numerous nuclear and coal based plants are being erected to meet energy shortage which is un-healthy sign for ecosystem.  

The government should prefer to utilise sustainable, environment friendly sources of energy like solar, wind, tidal power. Healthy ocean ecosystems are also important for the mitigation of climate change. 

ENGR. MANSOOR AHMED,  

Faisalabad, February 20.