Degradation of coastal water quality in the form of low dissolved oxygen levels (hypoxia) can harm biodiversity, ecosystem function, and human wellbeing. Extreme hypoxic conditions along the coast, leading to what are often referred to as “dead zones,” are known primarily from temperate regions. However, little is known about the potential threat of hypoxia in the tropics, even though the known risk factors, including eutrophication and elevated temperatures, are common.

Question raised in Rajya Sabha on Damage to Marine Ecosystem, 09/03/2017. The Ministry has been implementing a program for assessment of health of the coastal waters of India by periodically monitoring the pollutant levels in the seawaters of India.

The input of mercury (Hg) to ecosystems is estimated to have increased two- to fivefold during the industrial era, and Hg accumulates in aquatic biota as neurotoxic methylmercury (MeHg). Escalating anthropogenic land use and climate change are expected to alter the input rates of terrestrial natural organic matter (NOM) and nutrients to aquatic ecosystems. For example, climate change has been projected to induce 10 to 50% runoff increases for large coastal regions globally. A major knowledge gap is the potential effects on MeHg exposure to biota following these ecosystem changes.

Caribbean coral reefs have transformed into algal-dominated habitats over recent decades, but the mechanisms of change are unresolved due to a lack of quantitative ecological data before large-scale human impacts. To understand the role of reduced herbivory in recent coral declines, we produce a high-resolution 3,000 year record of reef accretion rate and herbivore (parrotfish and urchin) abundance from the analysis of sediments and fish, coral and urchin subfossils within cores from Caribbean Panama.

Chinese coastal waters support vast fisheries and vital economies, but their productivity is threatened by increasingly frequent harmful algal blooms (HABs). Here we provide direct experimental evidence that atmospheric deposition, along with riverine input, opens new niches for bloom-forming dinoflagellates and diatoms in the East China Sea (ECS) by increasing the ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus (N:P), inducing severe P limitation, and altering trace metal micronutrient inventories.

Carbon isotopic evidence revealed Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil entering coastal planktonic and lower terrestrial food webs. The integration of spilled oil into higher terrestrial trophic levels, however, remains uncertain. We measured radiocarbon (14C) and stable carbon (13C) in seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus) feathers and crop contents. Lower 14C and 13C values in feathers and crop contents of birds from contaminated areas indicated incorporation of carbon from oil.

Anthropogenic emissions completely overwhelmed natural marine lead (Pb) sources during the past century, predominantly due to leaded petrol usage. Here, based on Pb isotope measurements, we reassess the importance of natural and anthropogenic Pb sources to the tropical North Atlantic following the nearly complete global cessation of leaded petrol use. Significant proportions of up to 30–50% of natural Pb, derived from mineral dust, are observed in Atlantic surface waters, reflecting the success of the global effort to reduce anthropogenic Pb emissions.

Each cycle of a washing machine could release more than 700,000 microscopic plastic fibres into the environment, according to a study.

Norway and Turkey were the only two of 53 countries to vote against an international ban on the dumping of mining waste at sea, at a major conservation summit in Hawaii last week.

China's top oceanic authority urged provincial governments to better protect Northeast China's severely polluted Bohai Sea via new legislation, media reported Monday.