Exploring Oceans 2. What are the opportunities and threats arising from the use of ocean resources?

  • Created by: DanBish
  • Created on: 08-05-22 20:51
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  • What are the opportunities and threats arising from the use of ocean resources?
    • Biological resources within oceans can be used in sustainable or unsustainable ways. - Whales
      • Whales act as pump that recirculates fish and zooplankton ingested toward surface as nitrogen-rich ***** matter. Nutrients are essential to primary production of marine ecosystem.
      • Uses of whales
        • Primary use is the meat - Japan, Iceland and Norway are the only countries recognised by WWF to eat whale meat
        • Blubber cooked to an oil, used in fuels and makeup/soap
        • Baleen used in clothes
        • Alternatives exist for all of these
      • Management of whales
        • International Whaling Commission (IWC) - NGO
        • International laws
          • International Whaling Convention (IWC) - management of whaling worldwide
          • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) - imposes duty on nations that've signed, to conserver marine mammals
          • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)? - Provides protection for wild animals in international trade - whales
      • Economic reasons
        • Alternatives to whale products, such as meat, blubber and baleen
        • Whale meat is a delicacy in countries like Japan. Blubber is cheaper than normal oil
      • Resilience of Whales
        • Most whales live from 20-90, and blue whales are 80-90, and sexually mature in 7-10 years
      • Politics
        • Indigenous tribes use whale meat to eat, and baleen for clothes, although in heavy moderation, and no excess
        • Japan is the only country to hunt whales in Antarctica, and sometimes go outside of their own international boundaries
    • The use of ocean energy and mineral resources is a contested issue.
      • Ocean energy resources
        • Oil and gas
          • Impacts
            • Positive - Employment opportunities; wealth creation; raw materials; artificial reef creation
            • Negative - Oil spills; visual pollution; ecosystem disturbance; communities becoming dependent
          • Hydrocarbons found in large quantities in Gulf of Mexico, Persian Gulf and North Sea
          • Commercial drilling rigs operate in water depths of 2000m with next gen rigs proposing 3500m depth.  Deeper water drilling increases risk and cost, requiring great investment in on and off-shore infrastructure 
          • Supertankers require 30m+ depth and 2km minimum stretch of open water in which to turn.
        • Wave and tide
          • Flow resources - naturally regenerated by sun energy, and gravity from sun and moon
          • Tides reliable, regular + predictable. 2 high + low tides per day
          • Tide power dependent on physical + human geography
          • Wave higher potential than tidal. Energy used to compress air or fluids
      • Sea-bed minerals
        • Magnetite - An iron oxide which is key in steelmaking
        • Titanium oxide - Required for titanium used to make alloys used in aviation, defence and medical equipment
        • Vanadium oxide - Used to increase strength, heat, and corrosion resistance of steel


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