Coastal and Marine Degradation

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Coastal and Marine Degradation

Coastal degradation

Many beaches around the world are polluted by industrial and household waste. Rubbish of all kinds such as plastic bags, drink cans and bottles end up on the beaches. Many factories have been built along the coast so that they can dump their waste straight into the ocean. (http://www.skwirk.com)

Causes and Effects of Coastal Degradation (http://wwf.panda.org)

1. Excess amount of sediments
-many large rivers along the coast of the ecoregion carry vital nutrients and sediments that are important to plankton, mangroves, and seagrass beds.

2. Climate change and its serious impacts
-changes to the coastlines caused by human activity have exacerbated the effects of climate change.

3. Threats to marine animals
-marine mammals were hunted to the edge of extinction in the Indian Ocean before anyone realised that they were declining to such low numbers that their very existence was threatened.

4. Possible disappearance of key species
-trends indicate that in the next 50 years Dugongs and marine turtles may no longer be part of the marine diversity of eastern Africa.
5. Overexploitation of local fisheries
-fisheries are a vital employment activity to hundreds of thousands of families on the coast.

6. Destructive fishing practices
-over the last few decades destructive fishing methods, such as the use of dynamite and small-meshed nets, have destroyed seagrass beds and coral reefs.

7. Demand for timber
-mangrove wood is extremely hard and insect-resistant. The harvesting of mangroves for timbers and fuel, like basic fishing techniques, has been practised for thousand years, with poles continuing to be exported from the region.

8. Pressure on other marine species
-investors and developers have started to persuade governments of the region of the financial benefits of such practices, which, if not sensibly developed, can adversely affect not only the forests, but also many...
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