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Can You Live Without the Support of Aquatic Life?

Imagine the end of all marine life on the planet. With eyes clamped shut, allow the reasoning of the mind to paint a picture. This picture is important, for it is where people understand how completely dependent humans are on a stable ecology for their survival.

To preface the vision, each year in excess of 27,000 species of animal goes extinct, that averages out to more than three species per hour obliterated from any future on this planet. The term extinction means no surviving members of a species remains alive to procreate future generations and are nevermore inhabitants of Earth. The more species that die out of existence, the greater the significance becomes in managing an imbalanced ecosystem. Without the benefit of species diversification, these imbalances compound as the wildlife needed to take effective corrective measures no longer exists.

Aquatic life is of particular importance to sustain human life. Plankton life forms eat algae and without it, algae would uncontrollably grow into harmful algal blooms (HAB). These blooms would first poison the water and then effectively eradicate it. An excessive amount of plankton would not allow proper amounts of algae to grow. In order to balance plankton populations a healthy and widely diversified marine population of smaller fish and crustaceans needs to exist. Then, it is necessary to maintain a balance to the fish population to avoid them from becoming too prolific, subsequently killing off their food supply. To create this balance bigger fish and giant cetaceans are necessary. In order to control populations of big fish like sharks, and giant cetaceans like whales nature puts in place limited birth cycles, prolonged pregnancies, smaller numbers per birth, and the responsibility of each group to eat the young, sick, and dying for nourishment. Should one component in this aquatic chain face eradication the system collapses in on itself, which brings back the HAB problem.

More than 70 percent of the planet’s surface is water. However, under 1 percent of that water is available for human consumption. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that the percentage of freshwater remains constant because of evaporation. The Earth’s atmosphere evaporates saltwater and returns it to the planet purified. However, without the benefit of marine life, oceans would fill with HAB and turn freshwater resources toxic and undrinkable through the same process.

Approximately two thirds of the human body is comprised of water and without freshwater for regular consumption people would feel the effects of dehydration inside a week. Still, the problem seems to remain that people need a reason to care about aquatic life. Now that each has had the opportunity to close their eyes and envision a planet without marine life, open them and see what industries, governments, communities, and people are doing to contribute to that horrific image tucked neatly away behind eyelids.Humans have engaged a one-sided war against animals who cannot fight back to protect their right to exist. In denying animals a fair voice and the right to life, humans deny themselves the same opportunities of freedoms in perpetuity.

For those interested, sign the Preserve Marine Life Initiative.

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