Mercury Pollution in our Ocean

Mercury pollution is everywhere, it’s in the air that animals breath and we breath as well. It’s also in our land and inside of our beautiful sea. Mercury is a metal that’s heavy and is cycled throughout the earth.

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Mercy pollution is world wide and a global problem. The reason mercury pollution is an issue is because it hurts fish. The fish and shell fish breath in the water through there gills which is inside of the water that they swim and live in. The form that they receive the mercury is called Methylmercury, which is a organic but also highly toxic type of mercury. This is dangerous because this doesn’t just kill the fish but can also hurt the people who catch and eat it as well. In a recent study fish products have had more mercury than ever before and this is dangerous for everyone who consumes any sort of seafood but mostly fish higher on the food chain. Fish that are higher up on the food chain have been effect from mercury pollution drastically compared to smaller aquatic organisms. Some of the fish that are higher on the food chain are Marlins, sharks, tuna, king mackerel, and also tile fish. Marlins are These fish are all high up on the food chain and are drastically being effected due to mercury pollution.

It’s difficult but there are ways to prevent mercury pollution in our ocean. The first step to prevented mercury pollution in our ocean is by understand the levels of mercury that is already inside the ocean and try to keep it at that level because the last thing you want to do is add to the problem. This problem is bigger than just one person to handle but every little thing can help reach our goal to keep our ocean healthy and beautiful for our life time and generations after us to enjoy its beauty as well.

Other ways to prevent mercury pollution in our ocean is by going to clean ups sites and volunteering to clean up certain places where the levels of mercury is higher and needs help. Some sites to visit and get involved in is Carson Mercury site located in Dayton Nevada and Sulfer bank mercury mine in California. These places are already working to slow down or better yet stop mercury pollution from getting into our beautiful ocean.

The third way we can slow down the process is by knowing what we eat and not hurt ourself from the fish we eat. Some fish advisories such as EPA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) work alongside certain states and some sort of tribe. They try to give guidance and recommendation to new parents, pregnant woman and also woman that want or could become pregnant in the future. Especially the people mentioned should have a good grasp and know some basic knowledge on reducing mercury exposure while deciding and consuming fish and shellfish. By following these recommendations, some women and kids that are young can and will receive the protein of eating fish and shellfish. They should be able to keep there head up high that they have secured and minimized the mercury exposure to the very harmful effects of methylmercury. The United States of America advises fish consumers to avoid eating certain types of fish or shellfish caught in very specific and particular bodies of water from around the world. These recommendations should apply to everyone who consumes fish and if fish is part of there normal eating habits. Other ways that we can prevent mercury pollution is to take out the mercury waste inside of the sewage. Sometimes mercury emissions have released into the air while being burned during the burning process. Another way that can reduce the mercury that’s being released into the environment is in 2011, the EPA actually created a new rule that can limit specific emissions that hurt our wonderful ocean and even our entire earth.

Once of the earth’s greatest mystery’s is mercury and how it got into the ocean. Most of the time mercury goes into the ocean from areas that are from land or can even travel through the air. This form of mercury shows a very small amount of danger because organic organisms cycle it through there system relatively fast. But a certain kind of mercury that can start to have hazardous effects or toxic levels to fish is called monomethylmercury or abbreviated as methylmercury. Methylmercury is in the methyl group it has a methyl. One of the problem that scientist face is that they actually have know idea where this certain type of mercury comes from. There isn’t nearly enough of it to enter the sea to show drastic effects that we still are having. There is are drastic amounts of methylmercury found in fish. We aren’t that sure but somehow or something, or even the ocean by itself is converting non toxic mercury into a very dangerous methylated form that has been hurt our wild life.

Carl Lamborg is a biogeochemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Lamborg was attached and fascinated on mercury and eventually earned his master’s degree as a student. Once he graduated at the University of Michigan he then pursued his Ph.D. with a man named Bill Fitzgerald who is as good as anyone is the field of mercury in the ocean. These two men devoted both of there careers to mercury after looking at gruesome photographs of people being poisoned from mercury pollution in the early 1970’s. The photography’s were taken at a chemical plant at Minamata Bay, Japan. In one of famous picture from 1970 it shows a woman holder her daughter who was deformed and brutally scared from the methyl mercy and this phot was actually published on life magazine the next week. Minamata Bay might have been one of worst cases of methylmercury poisoning. But there is sadly many more cases that have been similar will all of the same effects.

Back then tons of mercury was dumped and people were insensitive to what was going on. Mercury was dumped into the Minamata Bay from 60 to 70 years ago and people didn’t think it would have an effect. But now a lot of those people have passed but new generations are now being effected by it. At this particular bay methylmercury was an obvious a factor. The source of the mercury in the ocean is from natural sources such as volcanic waves and eruptions but about two thirds is from human contribution. One of the biggest contributions to mercury in our ocean is from fossil fuels that us human produce. Coal is a very big part over 160 tons of mercury is released into the air from just the United States of America. Then from the coal it is then washed into our beautiful oceans through the rain fall and that where a big part of mercy pollution comes from.

Overall mercury pollution in our ocean is very bad and there will be consequences for our actions if we keep releasing methlymercury into our ocean. It has already hurt some of the aquatic life and also will hurt the economy because fishing will no longer exist due to the mercury that fish will have in there bodies. This is because the mercury will be hazardous for humans to eat and a lot of fishermen will lose all of there jobs. That’s why if we try to prevent mercury pollution from getting into our ocean we can still eat delicious fish for generations but will also give generations of jobs to people all around the world. Fishing in general is a huge part of some humans livelihood and without it more poverty from the people that would be effected from it.

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