• P-ISSN 0974-6846 E-ISSN 0974-5645

Indian Journal of Science and Technology


Indian Journal of Science and Technology

Year: 2011, Volume: 4, Issue: 3, Pages: 259-262

Original Article

Impact of pollution on marine environment -A case study of coastal Chennai


This paper reports the impact of pollution on marine ecosystem; it analyses the factors responsible for degradation and suggests suitable corrective measures. Around the world, marine ecosystems are being threatened, degraded, damaged or destroyed by human activities, one of which is pollution The rapid population growth and enormous urban and coastal development in many of the world's coastal regions have caused considerable concern that anthropogenic pollution may reduce biodiversity and productivity of marine ecosystems, resulting in reduction and depletion of human marine food resources. In addition, pollution reduces the aesthetic value and also the intrinsic value of the marine environment, whether the pollution is visual (such as oil pollution and plastic debris) or invisible (such as chemical compounds). The recent pictures coming out of the oil spills off the Gulf of Mexico in the United States and also the container tanker collision off the Mumbai coast are vivid examples. Another main reason for concern about marine pollution is related to the direct effects of pollution on human health. Because many pollutants accumulate in marine organisms, humans are exposed to pollutants when they consume food from polluted areas. Marine pollution occurs when unsustainable elements gain entry to water masses, potentially causing spread of invasive organisms, diseases and can turn water quality potentially toxic. Most sources of marine pollution are land based, such as wind blown debris, industrial / domestic pollutants discharged and potential spillovers from freight/ bulk ocean carriers. When toxins are concentrated upward within the ocean food chain, many elements combine in a manner highly depletive of oxygen, causing estuaries to become anoxic. As these materials are incorporated into the marine eco system, they quickly become absorbed into marine food webs. Once in the food webs, these cause mutations, as well as diseases, this can be harmful to humans as well as the entire food web. Globalization has brought in its wake increased demand on scarce resources leading to rapid depletion of a wide range of non degradable products viz., metals, plastics, rubber products, which in turn generate huge amounts of solid wastes causing pollution at the entry of marine waters. Besides the coastal regions of India are characterized by slums, with poor sanitation facilities aggravating the problem. Suggestions are offered, both invasive and non invasive which can definitely reduce the burden placed on our valuable resources which may soon vanish unless the counter measures are implemented effectively.
Keywords: Marine ecosystem, anthropogenic pollution, estuaries, poor sanitation.


Subscribe now for latest articles and news.