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Submitted on
May 28, 2010


1,361 (1 today)
  • Mood: Gloomy
  • Watching: Strange Days on Planet Earth
  • Playing: World of Warcraft
  • Eating: Lemonade
A lot of you have raised the question of what happens if the ocean "dies". That is to say, what if the ocean becomes unhealthy and marine wildlife populations decline too much? I wasn't sure on the answer to this question I too was wondering about but today I got the starts of my answer.
In ecology we've been watching a documentary series called Strange Days on Planet Earth. Today's episode had to do with what happens (and IS happening) due to fish population decline. Unfortunately this particular documentary did not cover the effects of Oil Spills long term but it shows the obvious need for keeping the ocean healthy.

Here is one of the first effects, you can watch it here:…;
It's definitely interesting, especially if your concern revolves around african animals (and the narrator is Edward Norton in case any of you like him :'D )
That version is shortened, so I will mention that they also talked about the indirect effects of baboon overpopulation is that kids are being kept out of schools in order to protect the property from baboons and that baboons CAN spread diseases to humans.

The second effect had been going on for possibly 80 years (yet no one had studied until like just now...) and involved 1) a terrible rotting eggs smell to this one coastal town  2) the ocean near the town changed color to brown -> white -> yellow and of course 3) MILLIONS of fish would wash up dead.
What was happening?
Hydrogen Sulfide and Methane were being released from the seafloor in extraordinary eruptions when the atmosphere became low pressure (usually as storms passed over)
The Methane and Hydrogen Sulphide build up was caused by the decay of amazing amounts of phytoplankton. The gases created from the decay would be stored in the sediments until it became low pressure enough for them to escape.
The reason there are so many phytoplankton dying and getting to decay at all is because the area has been often over-fished and there was no longer a strong enough population of certain fish such as Sardines to eat the phytoplankton. And of course, because there are now poisonous gases being erupting from the seafloor, it's going to be even HARDER to bring sardines back to these areas.

The study was done because of one town and Namibia, but it was then discovered that these eruptions were not local. The eruptions were getting bigger and happening in extraordinary series along the coast. And of course the idea should pop into your head that what if populations of phytoplankton-eating fish decline elsewhere? It is likely that these eruptions could end up appearing in many other places.
I should also mention that Methane contributes to the greenhouse effect. And upon these giant eruptions of methane, you can expect they will contribute to global warming. kthx.

All of that isn't directly related to oil spills but either way it shows just the beginning of what it is like when the oceans "die". If the ocean becomes out of balance, expect more land animals to disappear to make up for the food loss. Expect it to contribute to global warming.
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ForestEcho Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I hadn't even thought of the methane gas produced by all the dead and decaying sea life. O_O; Just another addition to problems caused by this situation.

I'm sorry if this news depresses you more and I'm not sure if you've heard but I guessed you would like to be kept up to date.. It seems that the people working on trying to "fix" the oil spillage problem have made it from horrible to... an incredable catastrophy. I read about it on this picture: [link] They've been adding a highly poisonous mixture into the ocean in hopes it would dissolve the oil. Only now... it's actualy mixed with the oil into this huge cloud of.. stuck together stuff which is now sinking down and being carried by the underwater currents around the globe instead of only spreading across the ocean's top layer. Here's a Youtube video from that other link I'd sent: [link]
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010
yeah ono it's quite the chain of events.

I prefer being educated c: I don't very much like the saying "ignorance is bliss". But man, that is terrible eoe I gasped at that video. Can you imagine that passing through the gills of fish? eurgh.
Okashii-Shukujo Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2010
The fish population? I'm sure that most fish-lovers will get over it... but the population of the OCEAN is a bigger problem. We need that water, dude. :o
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2010
Well explosive methane going into the atmosphere isn't good xD And if there's less fish then there's less fishing which means more land mammals are going to be hunt, which is the driving reason for the disappearance to african wildlife. No fish and you can kiss antelope, elephants, lions, hippos, etc good bye.

But yes. Clean ocean water in general is pretty important xD I wish I had more information on the chain reaction of just the crappier water.
Okashii-Shukujo Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010
However, the chance of the extinction of fish could drive more people to eat more vegetables in their daily-diet. Or your idea could happen. To be honest, it's a 50/50 chance in my eyes. o_o

Wata is needed. D:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010
My idea is already happening xD Maybe eventually people will bring in more vegetables, but it's not like the people of africa are eating as much meat as we westerners do and this is still happening.
shootin-mockers Featured By Owner May 28, 2010
Soylent green would have to be made out of people.
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 28, 2010
Alexsangirl Featured By Owner May 28, 2010
I was also watching River monsters the other day and made mention of the snakehead fish wish are eating away at all the other fish and so the snakeheads are overpopulating and soon the average fish and such will be almost completely gone. :/ I think there is another type of fish doing the same 0 a type of filter fish that have been so over populated right now that the beasts that also eat the filter from the water are not getting what they need to eat. And the over populated fish have been destroying boats and the like because once it gets near them they start jumping out of the water and have known to snap people's necks and such.

it was rather interesting. :/ But I feel bad for all the other fish and things that are dying because of the over population of one species.

*goes to watch the video narrated by Edward Norton <3 * he is a really great guy, trying his best to help the planet. :3
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 28, 2010
Jesus o__o BOAT EATERS? I should watch River Monsters sometime for that sort of wicked info.
yeah definitely D8

Edward Norton is the bomb while being REALLY adorable.
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