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Environmental Impacts of Marine Pollution

Access to new resource related to addressing marine pollution added to PMWL

Resource provided by Tirumala Parchuri

28 December 2019 – Mumbai, India – A new resource has been added to the PM World Library (PMWL) related to ocean pollution.  The resource is called “Environmental impacts of marine pollution - effects, challenges and approaches” and is a research paper authored by Periyadan Kadinjappalli Krishnakumar at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia.  The paper appears in a chapter on environmental pollution in the book Mathrubhumi Year Book Plus 2017.

Oceans cover approximately 71% of Earth's surface and around 90% of the Earth's biosphere. As it is the principal component of Earth's hydrosphere, the world ocean is integral to all known life, forms part of the carbon cycle, and influences climate and weather patterns. In addition, they are hot spots for fisheries providing us with animal protein, and ocean-related recreation, which is rapidly growing. Furthermore, most of the world´s megacities with more than 2.5 million inhabitants are in the coastal area. Unfortunately, the rapid increase in the number of people living near the coast and the uncontrolled developmental activities are resulting in marine pollution.

Pollution is a major problem that has negative effects on all of the planet's ecosystems, including the oceans. In many parts of the globe, economic development has been most active in coastal zones, putting enormous pressures on coastal ecosystems. Coastal and marine water pollution has increased throughout the world, mainly due to direct discharges from rivers, increased surface run-off and drainage from expanding port areas, oil spills and other contaminants from shipping, and domestic and industrial effluent. Most of the world’s wastes- around 20 billion tons per year- end up in the sea, often without any preliminary processing.

The United Nations (UN) has taken several initiatives to control the use and exploitation of the oceans including coastal seas through several international conventions, treaties and agreements. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC), which took place from 1973 to 1982, lays down a comprehensive regime of law and order in the world's oceans and seas establishing rules governing all uses of the oceans and their resources. It enshrines the notion that all problems of ocean space are closely interrelated and need to be addressed as a whole.

The Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and other Matter (London-Dumping Convention) was agreed in 1972. Its purpose was to prevent marine pollution caused by the deliberate disposal of wastes or other matter atsea, including in areas beyond national jurisdiction. The 1996 Protocol adopted modifications and included more stringent conditions. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), particularly through its Regional Seas Programme, acts to protect oceans and seas and promote the environmentally sound use of marine resources.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has developed and/or administers a wide range of treaties, focusing in particular on preventing the pollution of the oceans and seas. These include the landmark International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships of 1973 (MARPOL), as modified by a 1978 Protocol (MARPOL), and the 1954 International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil (the “OILPOL Convention”).

To access this new resource, go to the Solving Global Problems section of the library at, scroll down and click on “Ocean Restoration and Protection”, click down to resource title. Must be a registered trial, student or full member and logged-in to access.

This new resource provided through the PMWL university research internship program; to learn more, click here