Threats To The Oceans Today

Threats To The Oceans Today

For thousands of years people have used the oceans as a source for sustenance and recreation, but it is only in the last century where exploitation has skyrocketed. As population has boomed over the last 100 years, so too has the amount of people eyeing the deep blue as not only a place for food and resources, but as a venue for adventure as well. With all that attention, many different kinds of issues now threaten the world's oceans and its creatures. Let's take a look at five of the biggest, most immediate threats we now face.


Perhaps the greatest threat of all in the ocean, water pollution is among the leading causes of death and disease for both human and marine life. From oil spills to plastic waste, from chemical fertilizers to sewage, the byproduct of human disposal has made a deep impact on the health of the ocean. Below are the two biggest pollution problems:

Oil Spills

The Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill represents the world's most immediate threat. Nearly five million barrels (185 million gallons) worth of oil poured out into the water following an ocean rig explosion over three months before it was finally capped off. Though the oil stopped leaking out back in July, the effects continue to this day. Thousands of animals have been found dead as a result of the spill while many other species remain at risk due to the toxicity of the crude oil. Cleaning up all the excess oil and protecting wildlife remains the biggest priority among Atlantic Coast oceanic organizations.

oil spilll pelican

Bob Williams/NOAA

Until strict regulations are set and followed on an international scale, overfishing and all these other threats will continue to harm the world's oceans. As anglers it is important that we do our part to preserve the sport for future generations. Follow fishing regulations in place by your state, province, or country. Practice catch-and-release whenever possible to keep fish populations healthier. If you want to get more involved with protecting sportfishing, contact your local Department of Natural Resources to see what you can do to help the cause more directly.

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