What Are the Biggest Threats to Our Oceans?

The earth as we know it has more water than land. In fact, the ocean covers more than 70% of the planet’s surface that it’s easy to assume that it has unlimited resources. But as we’ve come to realise, the ocean also has its limits. Over the last few years, scientists have begun to unravel the devastating effects of these common threats to our oceans:


Seafood is undoubtedly one of the best foods in the world and over 3 billion people depend on it as their main source of protein.

But overfishing has also been the biggest threat to marine life since fishermen are catching too many fish at once and it’s causing the breeding population to be depleted quickly and not have enough time to recover.

The bad practices in commercial fishing has resulted to nearly one third of the world’s fisheries in a serious threat and if sustainable management is not implemented in all forms of fishing, the ocean may not be able to sustain the needs of the people and the fishery industry is set to collapse causing a food crisis.

Plastic pollution

This is probably the most talked about issue in the ocean today yet more people are still throwing their trash irresponsibly without thinking how this would impact the environment and their lives in the future.

According to studies, at least 8 million pieces of plastic pollution makes their way into the ocean every day and plastic consists of up to 90% of all marine debris.

The increasing amount of floating debris in the world’s oceans is killing more marine life that calls for urgent actions are needed before it’s too late.

Coastal pollution

We’ve all heard about how oil spills leave devastating effects to marine life in affected areas. But not a lot of people realise that some parts of the world are suffering from more damaging coastal pollution due to industrial plants dumping dangerous chemical wastes into seas that eventually go to the oceans.

If this practice continues, experts predict than within a few years, more coastal regions will have “ocean dead zones.”

Commercial whaling

Whaling is probably one of the oldest ocean issues in the world. This business of hunting whales for their meat and blubber dates back to the Industrial revolution.

Despite many efforts to put a stop to this practice, a lot of commercial whaling activities are still reported around the world. Commercial whaling has been so rampant for a longtime that it is causing some whale species to be on the brink of extinction.

In the United States, there are now only 350 remaining North Atlantic whales in existence and the West Pacific grey whale is becoming the most endangered whale population with only 100 individuals left.


At the end of the day, these issues can only be solved if there is a will to act for people on land. We shouldn’t wait for the day when we realise the importance of the oceans and marine life, but it’s already too late to do anything. Governments and individuals should start acting now.



Huffpost: The Five Biggest Threats to Our Oceans

Green Peace: Oceans Issues & Threats

Read about the effects of COVID-19 on the ocean

Read more about marine pollution

Photo by Marek Okon on Unsplash

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