Earth Chat

SME Earth Chat: Marine Crisis

Through learning how to dive, people can enter the ocean and appreciate the beautiful marine life. Beginners lack the technique to control buoyancy or swim properly. Most people hope to see large marine creatures when diving, like whale sharks, sea turtles, manta rays, sharks, and such. As long as they are lucky enough to encounter them on the bottom of the sea, even if their diving skills are not good, they can still see those sea creatures as they are quite large. For example, whale sharks can be as large as a small-sized bus, but since they only eat planktons and small shrimps, they won’t threaten the safety of divers. In addition, when you first encounter it underwater, it can be a very shocking and unforgettable experience!

However, more wildlife is becoming extinct as humans continue to destroy nature. The same is true in the ocean. Pollution, marine garbage, continuous development, trawling, and more are creating death traps. The bigger the marine organisms the greater chance of death. The number of marine life has gradually fallen in recent years due to the various fatal threats. Poaching is one of their reasons of death. Take whale sharks for example, they are hunted down frequently for their fins to prepare "Tianjiu shark fins” (天九翅), an Asian delicacy for celebrating banquets. Other sharks are not exempted from this Asian culture.

Even if they are lucky enough to avoid poachers, the ocean is full of traps made by humans, including discarded fishing nets. As these discarded fishing nets are not removed, many large marine creatures such as whale sharks, sea turtles and sharks are unwittingly entangled and killed in vain by these nets. Other death traps include all kinds of marine garbage and various plastic products manufactured by human for nearly half a century. Due to different reasons, they have entered various waters bodies via ocean currents. Many marine organisms have mistakenly swallowed plastic or garbage and died!

When you encounter these large marine creatures while diving next time, you should be very happy that they can still live in the ocean. Because in fact the ocean they live in is very dangerous and difficult. All of us should pay more attention to marine environmental protection, otherwise these creatures will gradually vanish and become extinct due to crises created by humans!

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