一、過漁 Overfishing


Many marine scientists consider overfishing to be the worst impact humans are having on the oceans. The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that over 70% of the world’s fish species have been entirely exploited or depleted. By capturing fish faster than they can reproduce, we are harming entire ecosystems that interact with those species, from the food they eat to the predators that eat them. These losses make the ecosystems more vulnerable to other disturbances, such as pollution. A complete overhaul of fishing policies, requiring global cooperation, is needed to achieve a sustainable system. 

二、沒良心的養殖漁業  Irresponsible Fish Farming


Fish farming, or aquaculture, is the growing response to wild fish stocks rapidly depleting. While it sounds like a good idea in theory, it unfortunately has many negative consequences due to poorly managed operations. Nutrient and chemical pollution can occur easily in open-ocean operations when fish feed, excrement, and medication is released into the environment. Farmed fish accidentally released into wild populations can also have destructive effects, such as loss of native stocks, disease transmission, and damaging changes in habitat. Unfortunately, the biggest hindrance to overcoming the challenges of an industry that supplies nearly 50% of the world’s fish food supply is that it currently remains relatively unregulated.

三、幽靈撈捕 Ghost Fishing


Ghost fishing is an environmentally harmful issue caused when lost or discarded fishing gear continues to catch fish and other marine life. Often times, the traps trigger a chain-reaction problem when larger predators come to eat the smaller ones that have been ensnared, only to get tangled in the mess themselves. The issue of ghost fishing is most common with passive gear that has been abandoned, and also poses a serious threat to other ocean vessels. Stray gear can be caught in the propeller of a boat, damaging or even disabling it. Many solutions have been offered, such as fishing gear made from biodegradable materials or incentives like the Republic of Korea’s buy-back program, which rewards fisherman for turning in old gear.

四、垃圾 Garbage


This one is the most obvious. It’s astounding how much of our trash finds its way into the ocean. Animals become easily entangled and trapped in our garbage, and it can destroy delicate sea life like coral and sponges. In addition, sea turtles and dolphins often mistake plastic bags for their favorite foods, jellyfish and squids, choking them or clogging their digestive system. If that’s not bad enough, hopefully the bigger-than-Texas trash vortex in the Pacific Ocean and its smaller cousin in the Atlantic will help serve as a wakeup call. 

五、酸化 Acidification

海洋吸收了地球將近1/3的二氧化碳,讓地球可以不那麼熱但也使得海洋表面更酸。但這樣也限制了珊瑚、浮游生物及其他海洋生物利用碳酸鈣製造骨骼或保護用的外殼(譯按:這部分道理請參閱2010年2月9日科學月刊「二氧化碳濃度與海水酸化」或是2008年12月7日中國時報B4/科學周報「海水升溫+酸化 珊瑚遭『雙殺』)。工業革命後海洋酸化程度增加25%,如果以這樣的速度繼續酸化下去(譯按:就是人類繼續大量排放二氧化碳),許多海洋生命將因此消逝。 

The ocean absorbs as much as one third of the CO2 emitted worldwide, which keeps us cooler but makes the ocean surface much more acidic. This has the effect of limiting calcium carbonate needed by coral, plankton, and other marine life that use it to build the skeletal frames and shells that protect them. Oceanic acidity has increased by 25% since the industrial revolution, and will eventually destroy much marine life if it increases at this rate.

六、優養化 Dead Zones

海洋「死亡區」(Dead Zones或譯「死亡地帶」)是因為海床缺氧造成生物無法生存,這些區域往往在大河出海口處,因為河水帶來人類產生的太多「營養」,優養化造成的。缺氧會殺死許多生物及破壞整個棲地。依照目前河川優養化速度,在21世紀結束前,海洋死亡區將增加五成。
Dead zones are areas where the sea floor has little to no dissolved oxygen. These areas are often found at the mouths of large rivers, and are caused primarily by fertilizers that are being carried in the runoff. Unfortunately, the lack of oxygen kills many creatures and destroys entire habitats. At our current rate, dead zones will increase by 50% before the end of the century.

七、水銀污染 Mercury Pollution

Scientists report that our ocean’s mercury levels have risen over 30% the last 20 years, and will increase another 50% in the next few decades. Emissions from coal power plants are the primary culprit, dispensing poisonous mercury that works its way up the food chain, eventually coming to us through the fish we eat. This neurotoxin can alter brain development of fetuses and has been linked with learning problems.

八、海上鑽油 Offshore Drilling


Offshore drilling continues to be a debate, but it’s clear that proceeding with oil production will only exacerbate the dilemmas of our oceans. The use of fossil fuels is the reason our oceans have been heating up and becoming more acidic, but offshore drilling takes the risks even further. When oil is extracted from the ocean floor, other chemicals like mercury, arsenic, and lead come up with it. Also, the seismic waves used to find oil harm aquatic mammals and disorient whales. In 2008, 100 whales had beached themselves as a result of ExxonMobil exploring for oil with these techniques. Furthermore, the infrastructure projects to transport the oil often create worse problems, eroding the coastline. These realities are another reason.

九、取鯊魚翅及捕鯨 Shark Finning / Whaling

The destruction of the ocean’s most important predators has significant consequences that ripple down the food chain. 50 to 100 million sharks are killed each year, either as bycatch from fishing vessels or directly hunted for their dorsal fins, used in an expensive soup popular across Asia. When finned, the sharks are thrown back into the water, often still alive and left to bleed to death. Unfortunately, sharks reproduce fairly slowly and don’t have a large amount of offspring, so these actions have long-lasting effects on the delicate ecosystems they help regulate. Despite the 1986 moratorium on many types of whaling, it still continues to be a problem, with some nations like Japan looking for loopholes and lobbying for lax regulations.


9 Problems Destroying Our Oceans (PHOTOS)

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