“Bandits” in the ocean (+ video)

Editor: The perimeter is besieged by bandits. These bandits set out into the wilderness and their mission is to deprive fishermen of their livelihood and destroy the biodiversity of the oceans. Who are these thieves? We are ocean thieves.

Agriculture is absolutely essential to food security and provides livelihoods for many farmers around the world; It also contributes to the gross domestic product of many countries. However, a lot of farmers and people involved in backyard gardening are usually pressured into using synthetic fertilizers because they release nutrients too quickly for the growth and development of their crops.

While this is a good thing, synthetic fertilizers usually seep away into water streams causing “eutrophication”. Eutrophication is the abundance of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous which come from sources including fertilizer run-off, sewage water, gray water, etc. causing algae blooms, depleting oxygen in the water, causing marine animals and plants to die, leading to to can lead to a dead zone in the ocean.

Some farmers also build pig pens near streams and tie their live stocks near river banks. When the excrement of these animals enters the river, it eutrophicates the ocean. During heavy rains, pesticides are also washed away from farms into streams and oceans.

In the ocean, the water is poisoned which can lead to the death of many marine animals. Gray water is water from bathroom sinks, kitchen sinks, bathtubs and washing machines, or some people might call it “soapy water.”

It is not the water that came into contact with the stool. Gray water contains a lot of phosphorous and nitrogen which causes eutrophication.

In some countries there are so many homes and businesses that dump all their gray water into the ocean and into streams.

Single-use plastic is destroying the aesthetic beauty of beaches which may affect the tourism industry. In the ocean, plastics are broken down by sunlight, wind and wave action into “microplastics”.

Marine animals commonly mistake microplastics for food, and when consumed, they obstruct their digestive system and cause their death. Some scientists argue that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean if nothing is done urgently to mitigate the entry of plastic into the ocean.

Plastics also make it difficult for sea turtles to lay their eggs on the beach as they obstruct and entangle both nesting females and hatchlings, putting them at risk of “extinction”.

In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, some beaches are heavily polluted with plastic and evidence of this can be seen after beach cleanups.

Climate change is a catastrophe for the marine ecosystem. Humans continue to burn fossil fuels which have a negative impact on the marine ecosystem. The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2), in 2020, was 149% higher than pre-industrial levels, setting another annual record. (https://edition.cnn.com/2021/10/25/world/emissions-climate-greenhouse-gas-bulletin-wmo-intl/index.html).

Climate change is causing the ocean to warm up causing a lot of coral bleaching. According to a Caribbean National Weekly article, the entire Caribbean reef is still under conditions of controlled bleaching and
Warning conditions are becoming more prevalent.

Warmer waters may also cause a mass migration of marine species in search of suitable conditions for feeding and spawning. Ocean acidification also occurs because pig waste is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, which are essential for plant growth and development.

When you go to the beach, carry a bag with you and throw all the rubbish in it, you must then dispose of this bag in the trash. Leaving all your trash on the beach will eventually end up in the ocean.

Do not throw garbage in rivers. The river ends in the sea which means all the trash will end up in the ocean.

Countries need to continue to reduce the amount of fossil fuels being used that cause climate change. Smaller countries like the Caribbean must continue to advocate for climate justice and climate finance. The Paris Climate Change Agreement will be a complete failure if climate change worsens.

This is a video showing bandits in the ocean.

Periphery is neglected and taken for granted. For example, the ocean is a carbon sink. Seaweed removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere 30 times faster than rainforests. However, it is threatened by pollution. St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the rest of the Caribbean have some of the world’s most pristine beaches and clear waters for snorkeling. Let’s continue to preserve the perimeter and eliminate these bandits from the perimeter before it’s too late.

This should be the theme for many years to come “don’t be a thief of the ocean, keep it”.

Kimani Weizmann

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