What Does Marine Life Have to Do with Human Health?
From microscopic species to the largest animals to have ever lived on the planet, the oceans contain everything: from the shimmering to the colorless, from the boiling to freezing, and from the brightest to the enigmatic black of the planet's deepest sections.
The oceans are a vital part of our planet’s ecosystem, providing biodiversity, life, and food. Over 40% of the world's population resides within 100km of the coasts, as per the FAO. As a result, better ocean resource management is critical to guaranteeing worldwide food security.
So how does marine life affect humans? Let's discuss.
It’s Responsible for Oxygen
At least half of the oxygen on Earth is produced by phytoplankton, which are small plant-like creatures that dwell in the water.
They have chlorophyll to catch sunlight and employ photosynthesis to transform it into energy they require, producing oxygen in the process, just like terrestrial plants. They also absorb carbon dioxide, delivering roughly 10 Gigatons of carbon per year from the atmosphere to the ocean.
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It Helps in Climate Regulation
The water beds absorb much of the sun’s heat. As per the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, "more than 90% of the warming that has occurred on Earth over the last 50 years has occurred in the ocean."
Near the equator, the heat is most intense, with the water closest to the top heating the most. The heat is subsequently transported throughout the earth by sea currents, south, and north, to the poles. Because of its considerably larger salt concentration, seawater gets denser and heavier as it evaporates. As a result, it sinks, carrying some of the hot water with it.
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It Creates Several Jobs
According to an OECD report, ocean-based sectors will appoint more than 40 million individuals globally by 2030. The fishing industry is expected to account for the majority of those jobs, followed by tourism.
Of course, the economic strength of maritime sectors is inextricably linked to the health of the seas as a whole. The ocean economy is especially important in developing countries, which are home to the vast majority of the 3 billion individuals who depend on the sea for their survival.
Climate change, pollution, and a lack of understanding of sustainable marine stewardship approaches continue to endanger maritime resources. This will affect the potential socio-economic benefits of those resources for future generations while also suffocating people's current earning capacities.