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People also depend on the sea for many of their medicines. Marine animals and plants contain many chemicals that can be used to cure human ailments: an estimated 500 sea species yield chemicals that could help treat cancer.
But the oceans are in a bad way. People have treated the sea as a dumping ground for thousands of years, offloading rubbish, sewage, and - more recently - industrial waste. Marine pollution frequently originates on land, entering the sea via rivers and pipelines. This means that coastal waters are dirtier than the open seas, with estuaries and harbours being especially badly affected. Additional pollution is actually created at sea by activities such as dredging, drilling for oil and minerals, and shipping.
Marine pollution is the harmful entry into the ocean of chemicals or particles. A big problem is that many toxins adhere to tiny particles which are taken up within a few days by plankton and benthos animals, most of which are filter feeders, concentrating upward within ocean foodchains. Because most animal feeds contain high fish meal and fish oil content, toxins can be found a few weeks later in commonly consumed food items derived from livestock and animal husbandry such as meat, eggs, milk, butter and margarine.
Humans depend largely on the ocean for their food source, pharmaceutical products, economy, recreation and transportation. Unfortunately many of human’s acts are causing more harm than good to this vast piece of resources. Pollution comes in many ways. From little thoughtless acts of individuals littering into the sea to big oil leaks and even countries trying out nuclear bombs all contribute to marine pollution.