Here is an essay on ‘Marine Resources’ for class 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Marine Resources’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay on Marine Resources
Essay # 1. Meaning and Importance of Marine Resources:
The biotic and abiotic resources found in the oceanic water and bottoms are called marine resources, which include marine water, inherent energy in the oceanic water (e.g., wave energy, tidal energy etc.), biotic life of marine water (plants and animals), marine deposits and abiotic elements (minerals, fossil fuels etc.), biotic and abiotic matter of ocean bottoms, benthic organisms etc. Even a drop of oceanic water contains countless microscopic organisms.
The marine resources are unique in the sense that they are renewable as most of the organisms can be regenerated. Since time immemorial oceans have always been useful for human society and have attracted man in different ways. Man has been using oceans in a number of ways since long e.g., for transport, communication and trade, fishing, defense purposes, mineral extraction, recreation, medicines, waste disposal etc.
Presently, the importance of oceans has increased many folds because of increased demand of food and minerals consequent upon ever-increasing world population. Consequently, man, besides traditional ways of exploitations of marine resources, has become capable of modernizing traditional methods through his skill and advanced science and technologies.
For example, the productivity and production of marine organisms (plants and animals) have been increased many fold through marine culture (mariculture), aquaculture, ocean ranching etc. There has begun a race for the exploitation of minerals associated with oceanic water, ocean deposits and ocean crusts, with the result the strategic importance of oceans has also increased accordingly.
Many branches of knowledge of oceans have been developed for specific purposes e.g., marine geology, marine biology (for detailed study of marine organisms), economic oceanography (for the systematic study of marine resources), resource oceanography etc.
Essay # 2. Classification of Marine Resources:
Seas and oceans are endowed with different varieties of biotic and abiotic resources of two major sources. Firstly, rivers while draining through land areas of the lithosphere bring different types of materials into the seas. These materials contain mineral elements of different types, plants and animals. Secondly, some resources are manufactured by plants in shallow waters.
It may be remembered that oceans are vast reservoirs of biotic resources. Nearly 40,000 species of molluscs, and 25,000 species of fishes are found in marine waters. Besides mineral resources, different types of vitamins and medicinal elements are also found. Generally, marine resources are divided into three categories e.g., biotic resources, abiotic (mineral and energy) resources and commercial resources (navigation, aviation, trade and transport etc.).
On an average, marine resources are also classified into living resources and non-living resources. Alternatively, marine resources can also be divided into mineral resources, energy resources and food resources.
Based on above mentioned considerations marine resources can be divided into the following categories:
1. Marine Biological Resources:
(A) Food Resources:
(i) Animal resources, (Fishes, crabs, prawns, zoo planktons etc.).
(ii) Plant resources, (phytoplanktons, sea grass etc.).
(B) Non-food Resources:
Alternatively marine biological resources can also be divided into the following 3 categories:
(A) Plankton Communities:
(ii) Zoo planktons.
(B) Nekton Communities:
(i) Pelagic fishes.
(ii) Demersal fishes.
(C) Benthos communities:
(i) Epibenthic community.
(ii) Benthic organisms.
(iii) Inflora and Infauna.
2. Marine mineral resources:
(A) On the basis of location:
(i) Minerals of the continental shelf deposits.
(ii) Minerals of the continental slope deposits.
(iii) Minerals of the deep sea bottom deposits.
(B) On the basis of nature:
(i) Metallic minerals.
(ii) Fuel minerals (petroleum, natural gas).
(iii) Construction materials (gravels, sands etc.).
3. Energy resources:
(A) Conventional energy:
(ii) Natural gas.
(B) Non-conventional energy:
(i) Tidal energy.
(ii) Wave energy.
(iii) Biomass energy.
4. Freshwater resources:
Manufactured water (transformation of saline sea water through the processes of desalinization into potable water)
Essay # 3. Conservation of Marine Resources:
It is beyond doubt that if the present rate of growth of world population continues, the demand for world supply of food would also increase proportionately in future, which cannot be met with land sources alone. Thus, one has to look towards marine food resources.
It is evident that the pressure on marine resources would increase in future, therefore it is necessary to initiate necessary suitable steps for exploitation, utilization, conservation and preservation of marine resources. It is necessary to look into certain basic facts regarding natural resources before attempting measures of management of marine resources.
(i) After land resources, marine resources are resource frontier for human community and there fore there are possibilities of their extensive exploitation and utilization in different forms.
(ii) The intensity and magnitude of exploitation of marine resources would increase under the pressure of ever-increasing world population. Thus, there is a need for in depth study and understanding of abiotic and biotic aspects of marine environment.
(iii) Some of the marine biological resources (like fishes) are over exploited while abiotic (physical) resources (minerals, energy, building materials) still await their exploitation at commercial level.
(iv) Decrease in the abundance of fishes due to overfishing has been reported from different parts. This may lead to reduction in world production of fishes in future.
(v) There has been spatial difference in the development of different fishing areas due to dynamics of different species of fishes (movement of fishes for breeding, spawning, feeding in different areas).
(vi) Changes in marine biological environment due to overfishing.
(vii) Marine biological environment is adversely affected by the introduction of modern methods and equipment of fishing.
(viii) Fish production (catch) depends on the estimate and prediction of future demand of fish for human food and animal feed. Sometimes, the estimated and predicted future demand of fishes comes true while sometimes proves false.
(ix) It becomes difficult to find out total number and quantity of marine living organisms. The accurate estimate of the growth and mortality rate of marine organisms is a prerequisite condition to ensure their sustainable yield. There should also be accurate knowledge of their absolute quantity.
(x) Marine organisms do not honour any artificial boundary fixed by man because they freely move in different areas of seas both horizontally and vertically.
(xi) It becomes practically difficult to enforce any international regulation related to exploitation of marine resources. Thus, unregulated exploitation of marine resources generates more competitions and makes exploitation process more costly.
(xii) Successful fishing does not depend on the size of their (fishes) areas and richness of their reserves but depends on their concentration and abundance at a particular time in a specific area.
(xiii) The knowledge of nature and dynamics of fishes is necessary for successful and profitable fishing.
Measures of Management:
The following points should also be taken care of for the efficient management of marine resources to get their continued and ensured sustainable yield, rational exploitation, optimum utilization, conservation and preservation (of rare species) of marine resources and pollution free marine environment.
The wise and rational exploitation and optimum utilization of marine resources involve following points:
(1) There should be well regulated exploitation of marine resources. This requires the accurate knowledge of exact quantity of abiotic resources and process and rate of regeneration of biological (living, plants and animals) resources.
(2) There should be efficient exploitation of marine resources. This requires the following-knowledge of absolute number of gross reserve of a specific species of fishes. This may be achieved through proper survey of fishing areas by applying ‘ecosounder technique’, by maintaining catch statistics, determination of their age on the basis of the study of ring growth on fish scales, mapping of breeding places of Fishing and determination of their numbers etc.
(3) Accurate estimate and prediction of future demand of fishes for human food and animal feed.
(4) Proper arrangement of canning and refrigeration for storage of fishes.
(5) Efficient methods and techniques of fishing.
It is necessary to make the present fishing areas more and more efficient and productive and to explore new areas for rational and proper exploitation and utilization of marine biological resources. Proper knowledge of potential reserve, possibilities of abundance, availability and renewal of marine mineral and fishes should be available.
Concrete steps should be taken to develop and enrich mariculture (breeding and rearing of certain selected marine organism), ocean husbandry, marine pasture, taming and training of certain sea animals (like dolphin, porpoises, shark etc.) etc. for the sustainable yield of marine resources.
Efforts should be made to keep the seas and oceans free from anthropogenic pollution for rich and healthy condition of marine environment and ecology.
The following are the major sources of marine pollution:
(1) Discharge of waste water, sewage, and toxic chemicals from the urban areas and industrial establishment of coastal areas into the seas;
(2) Dumping of urban and industrial garbage of coastal cities and industries into the seas;
(3) Disposal of solid waste materials mainly plastics in the sea water;
(4) Leakage of enormous quantity of mineral oil from oil tankers and spreading of oil slicks therefrom;
(5) Pollutants from offshore oil wells (according to an estimate on an average about 241 million gallons of oil are leaked every year from oil tankers in the oceanic water);
(6) Increase in the acidity of seawater due to increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide consequent upon rapid rate of deforestation;
(7) Increase in the concentration of heavy metallic materials like lead, copper, zinc, chromium, nickel etc. from land areas brought by the wind;
(8) Arrival of radioactive substances from nuclear plants, nuclear-powered ships and testing of nuclear weapons into seawater etc.
It is expected from the world community to initiate concrete and effective steps to keep the oceanic water free from pollution in the interest of both marine biological community and human community. If complete check on the discharge and disposal of pollutants of different sorts into seawater is not possible, minimum quantity of pollutants to be discharged should be determined and agreed upon.
There are two formidable problems in the conservation of marine resources e.g., international character of marine resources and equal right of all countries for their use; high mobility of marine organisms. It is necessary to formulate and enact international laws and to enforce them strictly for sustainable utilization of marine resources.
Several attempts have been made in this regard and many laws have been formulated like law of high sea; laws related to piracy, trade of slaves, war etc.; law of continental shelves; law of exploitation of sea bottoms etc. but these laws are not enough for the desired purposes. There is need for effective laws related to the exploitation of deep sea resources, strategic and military uses of seas, scientific researches and international co-operations to make marine resources useful for world human community.
There is earnest need for serious ecological researches for the understanding of marine biological processes (both chemical and physical). Further development of marine biology is required for the study of marine ecology.
The endangered species of marine organisms mainly fishes, which are at the verge of extinction due to overfishing need immediate protection. For example, 8 species of whales which have become endangered are facing extinction. Baleen whales are the most endangered species of whales.
The number of blue whales and humpback whales has also fallen alarmingly due to modern and efficient methods of whaling. A few countries like U.K, Norway, Netherlands etc. have self-imposed moratorium for the protection of whales. International cooperation is the need of hour in this regard.