Ecologie de la mer is the study of the environment pertaining to maritime activities. It focuses on the relationship between marine ecosystems and human activities. It aims to protect the health of the oceans, their habitats and biodiversity, as well as the quality of life of humans living along the coast.
Environmental Issues affecting the Maritime Sector
In the context of climate change, a wide variety of issues have been identified which are related to the impact of our activities on marine ecosystems. These include the rechauffement climatique (addition of heat to the atmosphere), the augmentation of the level of the oceans and the reduction of their oxygen content, the acidification of the seawater, and the degradation of marine habitats.
These problems are the result of human activities such as the use of chemicals and pollutants, the disposal of wastes and industrial wastes and the overfishing of fish. They also involve the pollution of wetlands, rivers and lakes by sewage and other wastes.
Despite these effects, the French government has adopted a strategy for the ecological and energy transition of the marine sector. It is aimed at promoting the ‘blue growth’ of the French maritime industry and supports a number of initiatives for a sustainable future in the sector.
Ecological Issues affecting the Maritime Sector
One of the most significant and long-lasting effects of human activity on the oceans is the pollution caused by plastics. These substances are toxic to fish and invasive for many other species. They also cause the death of seabirds and marine mammals.
This damage is not only harmful to marine wildlife but also detrimental for the health of the people who live around the coastline. It is therefore essential to take precautions and adopt a responsible attitude when consuming or disposing of plastics.
The European Union has implemented several measures to prevent the pollution of the oceans from plastics. These include reducing the use of plastics, promoting recycling and improving their management.
A further aim of the EU is to promote the development of a global market for recycled materials and reusable bottles. This will allow us to reduce the use of raw materials and reduce the production of new plastics.
In the UK, a national plastics policy has been implemented since 2009 to ensure that the plastics industry plays a positive role in the fight against climate change and pollution of the oceans. It has led to a reduction in the amount of waste produced by the sector.
Similarly, the Netherlands has a national policy to combat plastics in the country and is planning to establish a network of recycling centres in different cities. This would allow more people to recycle their plastic wastes.
The French government has also launched a campaign to promote the protection of marine biodiversity, with a specific focus on the islands of Corsica and Brittany. This campaign is part of the ‘One Ocean’ initiative, which aims to highlight the importance of protecting the marine environment in the world. It has been launched in partnership with the Nature Foundation and the UNESCO Institute for Marine Sciences.