Research from the University of California San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography said that species in the ocean consume a projected 12,000 to 24,000 tons of plastic every year in the Pacific Ocean (Nall, 2014). Pollution of recyclable materials in the oceans is one of the leading causes of why some marine species are nearing extinction. Many authors of articles and books analyzing this topic tend to agree that pollution of our oceans is a problem. The future of this problem is where their ideas tend to differ. The following four literature reviews attempt to demonstrate and support my belief that pollution is getting worse in the ocean and more marine life ecosystems are being affected, but there are things that we as humans can do to change this. Imagine a world where we didn’t have to constantly worry about the vicious cycle of humans affecting animals and then animals in turn affecting us through consumption.
Recovery of Marine Animal Populations and Ecosystems: Lotze, Coll, Magera, Ward, Airoldi
In a research article by Lotze, Coll, Magera, Ward and Airoldi (2011) they examine the positive side of how ecosystems in the ocean can recover even though they are faced with many different types of struggles every day. The authors ask the main question: How common is recovery among depleted populations and degraded ecosystems in the ocean? It is hypothesized that over the years, ecosystems are going to recover and essentially in the future, increase. The results in this study supported the hypothesis of the research on recovery for certain ecosystems and stated that 10-50% of ecosystems actually show some rate of progression (Lotze, 2011). This has significance when looking at pollution and the effects it has on marine life because: “Pollution controls and habitat restoration have had important roles in the recovery of diadromous fishes. Overall, in terms of relative importance of the different factors, it has been shown that 95% of recoveries of exploited marine species in estuarine and coastal regions were enabled by reduced or banned exploitation”(Lotze, 2011). The results also indicate how recovery is possible in other ecosystems as well, not just with the example of diadromous fish. All of these results combined confirmed the overall hypothesis that pollution is getting worse in the ocean and more marine life ecosystems are being affected but that there is something humans could do to change this. It is presented that if humans limit their pollution, ban commercial exploiting and protect habitats and then marine life ecosystems can be saved. One limitation to the study is that recovery of these ecosystems seems unachievable because “long-lived marine animals might take many decades to recover from low population abundance owing to their slow life-history characteristics and low annual growth rates”(Lotze, 2011). Another limitation to the study is that there is no statistical data showing how ecosystems in...