There are various sea-based sources from which chemical substance substances may contaminate the marine environment; those are- shipping, mariculture, offshore oil, and gas production, seabed mining, dredging of sediments, dumping of dredged material and so on.
More or less 89 chemical substances are released from shipping activities into the ocean (Tornero and Hanke 2016). Accidental oil spill in the water happens vigorously as the production and consumption rate are high. Crude oil consists numerous chemical; among them hydrocarbon compounds produce the greatest toxic condition in the environment.
Other compounds consist of hexane, heptanes, octane, nonane, benzene, toluene, esters, acids, ketones, phenols, iron, nickel, chromium etc.
Again, waterway is the main way of transporting Hazardous and Noxious Substance (benzene, sulphuric acid, phosphoric acid, and styrene); which if released to environment may cause severe health effects. Almost 2000 different chemicals are used by human are regularly transported by sea (Tornero and Hanke 2016).
It includes discharge of bilge water from ship, fuel tanks.
A number of measures have been taken so far to reduce the intended and routine spill. Crude oil washing is mandatory for some vessels but ultimately they pollute marine environment endangering marine biota. This is one of the biggest sources of putting oily wastes, detergents, cleaners, lubricants, chemicals from refrigerators- fire extinguisher into the marine environment.
Decommission of offshore oil and gas stations consist of reprocessing and removal of materials, chemicals, dismantling or partial removal of material. In time of abandoning or remobilizing structure- that can lead to serious deteriorate of the environment and release of contaminants.
Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 represent one of the greatest threats to marine and coastal environments from offshore activities. Using chemical dispersant to tackle oil spill is sort of releasing another source of pollutants in the marine environment. In that particular event almost 2 million gallons of dispersant were used to disperse crude oil. The application also led to short term toxicity to aquatic environment. In 2012, the spillages of minor accidents crossed 1205 tons only in Europe.
Exhaust emission from the vessel (NO2, SO2, and CO2) pollute air and also contribute to ocean acidification. As these gases are out in the atmosphere, they also reach marine environment and make the ocean acidic and also cause global warming.
Aqua culture or Mariculture may have some effects on the surrounding environment. Farmers use pesticides, antibiotics, parasiticides, anesthetics to control disease, pest attack which is actually chemicals. Researcher found out 66 potential chemical releases from these sectors. These chemicals can affect son target organism as well. The antibiotics (oxytetracycline, oxolinic acid and flumequine) can persist in water or sediment; and after some time they can lead to contamination of indigenous and non-target organisms. On top of that, these organisms and fish may pass their disease resilient gene to human or animals. Some antibiotic can even pass to human body and cause severe health risk such as bone marrow depression (Tornero and Hanke 2016). Formalin and iodophores are used as disinfecting agent aquaculture in Europe. But they can contain some formula posing health risk to human that are not labeled.
These are the most habitual and usual tendency of human which accord the input of sea sourced substances. Though dredging operation is a necessary for maintaining ports and harbors; it re-suspense the bottom sediments which lead to large scale increase in water pollutant level. In some places, dumping dredged materials are regulated by different conventions. Again, dumping includes sewage sludge, fish wastes, vessels and platforms, inert, inorganic geological material (such as mining wastes), organic material of natural origin, and bulky items (primarily comprising iron, steel and concrete); which is consider as threat to marine biota.
To withstand with climate change, ocean acidification, energy security- it led to exploration and development of new and renewable sources of energy generation from the ocean. Apart from increasing noise level and risk of collision with marine animals; pollution by chemicals rise as a problem because of vessel trafficking, maintenance, spillage of lubricants and hydraulic oil and so on.
There are thousands of sunken ships and vessels across the ocean. Most of them deteriorating, the metals are corroding and thus releasing their contents in the ocean. The most polluting wrecks worldwide are estimated to be in the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean; they may contain a huge amount of oil in the sunken vessels. It is not limited to oils only, it contains arsenic, cadmium, copper, chromium, lead, mercury, and zinc, PCBs, asbestos, biocides, PVC, and even radioactive wastes (Tornero and Hanke 2016).
There is an abundance of minerals in the sea bed. It includes cobalt, zinc, and copper and so on. These can ensure security supply and fill a gap the market supply. Deep sea mining generally takes place in the international seabed. That is why no national regulation are formulated in here. So, these mining have increased rapidly and commercial exploitation will be full on. Certain types of rare earth element are available in sea bed; such as seafloor massive sulphides, manganese nodules, cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, bismuth, cadmium, gallium, germanium, antimony, tellurium, thallium, and indium (Tornero and Hanke 2016). They are sometimes drilled through ocean drilling. These sorts of activities create environment concern- hydraulic fluid leak, fuel, chemical and oil spillage, release of metal and so many more.
Fracking is a process of extracting oil or gas from rock or borehole by forcefully injecting liquid at a high pressure into it. Thus, offshore fracking associates with blasting water and industrial chemicals into seafloor in order to opening rocks to extract oil or gas. Toxic fracking threatens the marine life. For example, in California, it already threatened numeral species such as blue whales, sea otters and so on (CBD 2014). Because oil companies in that region are permitted to dump 9 billion gallons of wastewater, fracking chemicals into the ocean each year. The hazardous pollutants released in the air trigger adverse health condition of the coastal people, even can cause cancer; also put a negative impact in climate. Various unique environmental problems raise due to fracking and as per some experts it also turmoil seismic stability.
In California, injecting fracking waste water underground increases the risk of earthquake as the injecting wells are near fault lines (CBD 2014).
Some of the fracking chemicals are Nonylphenol, Phenol formaldehyde resins, Boron Compounds, Crystalline Silica Quartz, Glyoxal, Methanol, Monoethanolamine (CBD 2014). These chemicals can alter sex ratio in the population level, harms development, growth, cause cancer, mutation and increase toxicity in the water and so on.
As the world’s population is increasing; the pressure on ecosystem and resources are also amplifying. The reservoir; be that atmospheric or oceanic are also suffering to a great extent as they work as a sink. Oceans are facing great threat due to the anthropogenic waste and unawareness. As said earlier, oceans work as a biological pump to the whole world. So, proper management is a dire need to save ocean and its ecosystem and biodiversity. For example, some measures should be taken to be free from the lethal consequences (Baztan et al. 2014).
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