Marine pollution and impact on living resources and human health

Dang Ngoc Thanh, Tran Duc Luong


Marine pollution are occurring in the ocean since a few past decades and being accelerated with the development of human social activities as well as the science and industries in the world. There are many different ways to categorize the inputs of pollution into the ocean. But generally, there are three main ways to input the pollution into our marine environment direct discharge of waste into the ocean, runoff into the seawaters due to rain, river and pollutants that come from the atmosphere. Land based sources of discharged pollutants are from mining and non mining. From these sources released explored metallic elements, including toxic, heavy metals (mercury, nickel, lead, arsenic, cadmium…) treated or untreated sewage. From non mining sources, as urban, farm, harbors runoff pollutants rich of nutrient (nitrates, phosphate) which probably cause algal bloom resulting from eutrophication of coastal waters. Around 90% of marine polluted debris is plastic. Plastic accumulated because they do not biodegrade in marine environment, but they can disintegrate into smaller pieces and in this way plastic particles easily enter to the ocean food chain of many marine animals. Another damage fact of marine pollution is red tide, occurring in coastal water probably caused by eutrophication of coastal waters intensively rich of nutrient from land based on sources. Red tide appeared by an algal bloom, with harmful and toxic algae dangerous for marine animals and human health. Example of common harmful effect of red tide including to: the production of neurotoxins which cause mass moralities in fish, seabirds, turtles and sea mammals. Human illness or death by consumption of seafood contaminated by toxic algae. Red tide caused also mechanical damage to marine organisms by oxygen depletion of the water column. Impact of oil spills are always considered as a catastrophe for marine life by its large effect on living organism as well as on marine environment, with acute and long-term effects. Impact of oil spills are revealed at different life level: individual, species, populations, communities and ecological systems. For this reason, to evaluate the impact effects of oil spills it needs a comprehensive view to reveal the total effect of the catastrophe on the biodiversity and the ecological conditions of the polluted sea area.



Marine pollution, solid waste, plastic, Red tide, harmful algae, toxic algae, oil pollution, oil spill, heavy metals


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Published by Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology