• Steph

Overpopulation: cause and effect

Updated: Aug 4, 2019

Food, medicine, recreation, the ocean has always helped humans, and we have always relied on it too! But why is there such a big impact on the marine life now? Well, with the current average population increase estimated at 82 million people per year, it’s no wonder we’re running out of sea!

First off, why has the human population grown so large? The reason for this rapid growth was mainly because of the decreasing death rate (more people are living more) and because of the increase in average human age, which has become 79 years from approximately 50 years in 1900. Also, although the birth rate in the world has been going down due to factors such as social structures, the amount of children being born still outnumbers how many people die, with about 256 births/minute and only 105 deaths/minute. All these things are what cause overpopulation, meaning too many people for the world to stay healthy.

Secondly, how does overpopulation affect the sea? Now, more than half the world’s population is living within 100 kilometers of the coast, so it’s no surprise that we’re having an effect. And all these advances in technology are just making it easier to destroy ecosystems. Like, fishing. We have always fished, and probably always will, however with advances in fishing technology, fish stocks around the world have been significantly reduced! However, if it was small scale, nothing major would happen. And ocean acidification! There is evidence to suggest that our increased human activities have caused a dramatic increase in our amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, which means higher levels of dissolved CO2 in seawater, which is a higher pH in the sea, which means there’s a potential that marine biodiversity may decrease on a very large scale. In the end it’s our numbers that cause all these problems, but what can we do about it?

Finally, there are many big and small things you can do! If you want to help overpopulation you can do it two ways. You can either cause a war and kill everyone, but uhhh….. Nobody wants to see that..OR you can simply have less children. The only way overpopulation will decline is by people choosing to have no more than one child. By averaging 1.5 children (if some people had two and some one), the total world population would decline to 5 billion from the current 7.6 billion. You can even choose to adopt children rather than have your own!

But there are other ways to help the world! Simple tasks can make a big difference!

For example, you can use your car less, use less energy at home or work, or switch to led lightbulbs, to reduce the effects of climate change on the ocean. Also, help reduce the demand for overexploited seafood species by

choosing seafood that is both healthy and sustainable, like barramundi! Don’t forget to purchase marine life friendly products at the shops too!

Don’t flush cat litter, which contains pathogens harmful to marine life. Make sure to be an ocean friendly pet owner!

And of course, USE FEWER PLASTIC PRODUCTS. As you probably know, plastic has a horrendous effect to the sea, so don’t forget to carry a reusable water bottle, use non disposable containers for food and use a reusable bag when shopping!

In conclusion, there are many problems being caused because of overpopulation, but if everyone just changed a bit of their everyday life to help the environment, it would make a big difference! So encourage your family, friends and everyone to be more conscious about this huge problem and to do something about it. It doesn’t matter if it’s small, because many small actions will still lead to a big change.

- Anna

"Thinking Wild & Wonderful"


IG: @seasofchange_au

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