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What Is Ocean Resources Conservation?

By Marlene Garcia
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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Ocean resources conservation aims to protect and restore threatened marine life, ecosystems, and habitats. Efforts employed by conservation agencies include promoting sustainable fishing, preserving coastal and wetland habitats, and enacting laws to regulate and conserve valuable resources. Ocean resources conservation might enhance recreational opportunities, along with sustaining economies worldwide that depend on the sea for food.

Scientists who study ocean resources conservation use formulas to determine the population of various species of fish, a source of protein vital in some countries. The researchers look at how fish migrate and the effects of global warming on marine environments. Illegal fishing in certain oceans also factors into studies on threatened or endangered species. A species might be listed as threatened or endangered when it cannot reproduce fast enough to meet consumer demand.

Ocean resources conservation might address mining activities on the sea floor. Salt, iron, copper, manganese, diamonds, and other minerals can be found in deep water areas, which are usually dredged. These activities might destroy ecosystems by disturbing sediment on the ocean floor. When the silt is disrupted, it could kill plankton and spread metallic debris into the water.

Conservation efforts also address the loss of habitat in coastal regions. These areas might be harmed by sewage dumped into the water, which produces too many nutrients, disrupting the food chain by altering oxygen levels. Increased nutrient levels can cause excess algae production, which in turn could kill off marine life.

Construction activities also might destroy nesting and reproduction areas for birds and other marine species. Ocean resources conservation studies also analyze tourism and recreational impacts to coastal communities, along with the destruction of mangrove trees from natural disasters. Conservation groups commonly create long-term plans to restore these damaged areas.

A growing concern of marine conservation efforts centers on the amount of plastic and other trash discarded into oceans. These waste products disrupt the ecosystem and trap sea life. Ocean resource conservation might work to decrease the amount of trash dumped from boats and barges or left on the shore, where it can wash out to sea.

Ocean resources fall into three categories composed of energy, minerals, and living organisms. The practice of ocean resources conservation relies on international support to address vast expanses of sea. International and regional laws typically govern mining, oil drilling, and fishing activities.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Drentel — On Jan 22, 2015

@Feryll - I agree the oceans are big, and this is why I'm not 100 percent behind the message that says we are taking so many fish from the oceans that we are depleting the populations. My belief is that fishing alone will never be enough to put a major dent in the numbers of fish in the oceans.

I am in favor of keeping the waters and beaches clean, but the ocean is not so fragile and some environmentalist would have us believe. The oceans and the animals in them will be here as long as we are, and maybe much longer.

By Feryll — On Jan 21, 2015

I was surprised when I learned that fishermen were actually over fishing the oceans. The oceans are so large that I can't even begin to conceive of how much area they cover. Sure I can look at a map and I can read the statistics and see that the ocean waters cover 71 percent of the earth, but I can't really get a grasp on how much territory this really is.

So how can it be that we are over fishing the oceans. This just goes to point out how much humans can affect the environment. Hopefully, the work of ocean conservation groups and organizations will help us to make positive impacts instead of only negative ones.

By Laotionne — On Jan 20, 2015

This article mentions the pollution problems in the ocean. I read somewhere that about 90 percent of the garbage in the ocean is plastic, and there are almost 50,000 pieces of garbage per square mile of ocean. This is a lot of plastic. The way this looks is bad enough that we should want to do something to clean up the trash.

Beyond the fact that this garbage is an ugly mess, it is also a danger to so much of the life in the ocean. A large number of seabirds and other animals die each year because of the plastic and other garbage in the ocean.

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