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Oceans support life, drive our climate, provide our rainfall and are a vital source of food. Yet humans have devised new and deadly ways to slaughter the inhabitants of our seas, endangering the marine environment for all of us.

Construction companies extract a lot of sand from the beaches. This brings the sea shore nearer to coastal civilisation. Because of this, the seas destroy a lot of coastal resorts and houses during high tide.
Claude Didace, Benin

Whales are the biggest animals in the world. Some are up to 30 metres long and weigh almost 35 tonnes. Whales are very important: they help conserve the balance of the ocean ecosystem. If you tamper with that balance, the whole ecosystem is threatened. There are about 43 whale species world-wide, but some are under threat. Roughly 4500 individual whales come to the principal beaches in Mexico, but their numbers are decreasing. Itís unfair the way people violate the international agreements and keep killing them.
Alejandro Elnecave, Mexico

click picture to enlarge
picture courtesy of Foundation for Global Peace and Environment, Japan

Over the last 30 years, catches of valuable fish in the Black Sea have declined to a twentieth of their former level. Shellfish harvests have dropped by a similar amount - all due to the fact that 400 cubic kilometres of human and industrial waste pour into the Black Sea every year, mostly via the rivers that flow into the sea from surrounding countries. The problem of river pollution along great rivers like the Danube, the Dnieper and the Dniester all become one big problem when they reach the Black Sea.
Skorikova Zlata, Ukraine

The manatees are in danger of extinction off the Florida coast. There are fewer than 1200 left and they are disappearing fast. A major cause is the tourist boats. The motors of the boats slash into the bodies of manatees which swim very near the surface.
Liliana Fonseca Real, USA

click picture to enlarge
Velikanova Nataliya, Ukraine

Dynamite fishing involves explosives which kill every creature in the water. Young people reported this happening in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Tanzania, Liberia and the Caribbean.

The Grand Banks off Newfoundland were renowned for their abundance of cod fish. When European explorers first arrived, they heard rumours that there were so many fish in the sea, you could almost walk on the water. Today there are practically none. Sadly, fishing fleets took too many fish. The level of fishing was unsustainable. The legacy is unemployment and frustration in maritime Canada.
Michelle Luxon, Canada

web site editor: webmaster@grida.no Last update: March 2000