Of all the issues that are currently affecting the marine environment, pollution ranks in the top five. Harmful substances such as pesticides, heavy metals and hydrocarbons are a huge factor in the health of the planet’s ocean environment.


There is no question that pollution has a direct effect on health of the ocean and sea life. Today humans dump over 14 billion pounds of pollution into the ocean on an annual basis. According to a recent study by the US National Center for Ecological Analysis, 85% of the world’s oceans have been strongly affected by pollution. The dumping of industrial, nuclear and other waste into oceans was legal until the early 1970s when it became regulated; however, dumping still occurs illegally everywhere.


The immediate impact of today’s dumping of large quantities of pollutants is being documented by researchers and scientists all over the world. There have been measured large-scale sudden deaths within the aquatic environment and fish stock collapses caused by the contamination of waterways with agricultural pesticides. Lower levels of discharge are causing an accumulation of the pollutants within the aquatic organisms themselves. Pollutants that are dumped in the ocean are passing through the environment. Studies show that a greater proportion of diseased fish were found in polluted compared to non-polluted marine sites.


Based on the best available scientific information, better management of ocean pollution is needed. The problem can only be addressed if economic, social, and political realities come into play. Currently, however, scientific information about the effects of pollution on fisheries is fragmented and sparse at best. The science community is calling for a critical review and assessment of available factual information.

85% of the world’s oceans have been strongly affected by pollution

There are other possible management concepts including:


  • Continued efforts to document – documentation of the localized and general effects of pollution on living resources is critical.


  • Pressure to identify and use reliable biological indicators of environmental degradation – current identifiers are unusually high levels of genetic and other anomalies in the earliest life history stages, presence of pollution-associated disease signs such as fin erosion and ulcers in fish, and biochemical/physiological changes.


  • Reduction of pollutant inputs – there has to be a concerted effort to deal with pollutants that are harmful to living resources. Pollution management activities, such as continuous stock assessment, environmental assessment, and experimental studies, can help.


  • Discontinue use of nitrogen and phosphorus pollutants – these are nutrients that become water pollutants when they enter rivers, lakes and oceans through run-off. They build up in bodies of water and cause plants and algae to grow at accelerated rates, resulting in plant overgrowth and harmful algal blooms. After those same plants die, the decay process lowers the dissolved oxygen level in the water to a point where fish cannot survive, resulting in fish kills.


  • Discontinue use of pesticides – synthetic pesticides are toxic to fish at low concentrations. Some fish are more sensitive than others and die at even lower concentrations. Pesticides enter fresh and marine waters through natural shed.


  • Control heavy metals – fossil fuel output introduces heavy metals into the atmosphere, which end up in bodies of water; finding alternative fuel sources would help in this area. Heavy metals in water stunt growth and impair a fish’s sense of smell making it hard for them to find food.


  • Address food source depletion – fish feed on invertebrates, which include waterborne insects. Pesticides are toxic to insects in low concentrations. Pesticides that do not initially kill insects are transferred when a fish eats them and the resulting build-up eventually kills the fish. Pesticides need to be developed that will not harm fish, Consideration also needs to be given to the insects that serve as a food source.


  • Deal with the flush effect – the flush effect is the term given to the flushing of prescription drugs by humans – either by directly flushing used medications or through excretion in urine or feces. Studies have shown that even in small quantities, such toxins are not removed during the treatment process in wastewater treatment plants. For example, during a University of Colorado Boulder study, fish found in waterways laced with traces of endocrine-disrupting synthetic chemicals exhibit gender bending. The same study showed that waters with traces of antidepressants affect fish behavior as well.


Oceaneos’ Ocean Seeding technology is not polluting: it mimics a natural process with the natural elements. Other than land based fertilizers, Ocean Seeding uses Iron, one of the most abundant elements in nature, used by every living cell to support the metabolic process.