Biodiversity in the Sea: Marine Life and Human Effects

Marine Life at a Coral Reef (by MWT)Marine life includes everything in the sea from the tiniest microplankton to the giants among the whales. Life abounds in all of the world's oceans - Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Southern (Antarctic). In the shallows along the coasts dwell highly diverse communities formed from seagrasses, coral reefs, and kelp forests. In the open ocean swim all sorts of fish like tuna, swordfish, and sharks, and pods of marine mammals like dolphins, porpoises, and whales. And in the darkened depths below the photic zone where sunlight can't reach, there are monstrous creatures like giant squids and communities of tube worms around hydrothermal vents.

Unfortunately, much marine life is under threat from human activities, such as overfishing, ocean pollution, other environmental damage, and indirectly through global climate change. Marine life protection and conservation policies exist, but are they too little too late? Learn about these issues and more in the articles below.

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