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Chapter 15. Marine Resources. Resource Classification. Renewable vs. Nonrenewable - Renewable : those that growing organisms, sunlight, or other processes naturally replace

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chapter 15

Chapter 15

Marine Resources

resource classification
Resource Classification
  • Renewable vs. Nonrenewable

-Renewable: those that growing organisms, sunlight, or other processes naturally replace

-Nonrenewable: natural processes don’t replace, or that do so at such a slow rate that they’re not replenished in a human lifespan.

  • Physical vs. Biological

-Biological: are those that involve bioreproductivity, such as fisheries and kelp harvesting.

-Physical: do not involve biological processes; include: minerals, energy production, and recreation (oil and natural gas nonrenewable physical resources)

many marine biological resources renewable or not
Many marine biological resources…renewable or not?
  • While most marine biological resources are potentially renewable, most are nonrenewable.
  • This happens when a fishery takes a species from the ocean faster than it can reproduce to maintain its population.
  • Whaling and commercial fishing are two of many examples
energy petroleum natural gas
Energy: Petroleum & Natural Gas
  • About 1/3 of the world’s crude oil and about a quarter of the natural gas come from offshore sources.
  • Crude oil is a complex mix of thousands of different compounds; most important are hydrocarbons: consist of carbon and hydrogen chains
  • Geologists find petroleum and natural gas in marine and terrestrial sediments; form from the remains of marine, benthic organisms
  • After these animals die, they compile in depressions with little water movement, low oxygen, and few scavenging organisms; same process for methane and petroleum
  • Physical characteristics of the rock surrounding oil and natural gas are important b/c they determine where the oil and natural gas collects
  • Oil companies extract oil and natural gas by drilling through the sediment and rock into the reserve
platform mars
Platform Mars
  • One of the newest deep-water platforms
  • 1996: Shell Oil Company found a large oil field in the Gulf of Mexico in about 815 meters of water
  • Estimated 700 million barrels of oil, the Mars reserve is the largest found in the US in more than 30 years, yet only represents about 10% of the oil the US consumes annually!
energy methane hydrates
Energy: Methane Hydrates
  • These are ice crystals that contain methane found on the continental slope (may not be familiar with these)
  • Nonrenewable marine energy source
  • Made of frozen water molecules that create a cage within the sediment;
  • Each “cage” holds a single methane gas molecule
  • When you bring methane hydrates to the surface, the ice melts, releasing the methane
  • Light and match and ignite the methane
  • Thought to come from a multi-step process that includes both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria
  • Not currently used as an energy source bc: its expensive to recover them, technology still being developed, greenhouse effect sudden inc. in temp.
salts and minerals
Salts and Minerals
  • Ferromanganese Nodules: form around shark teeth and volcanic fragments; very abundant in the Pacific Ocean; these are rich in copper, nickel, and cobalt making them very valuable; for example: cobalt metal used in military and industrial applications, jet engines, etc.
salts and minerals cont
Salts and Minerals Cont’:
  • Magnesium Compound: strong, light weight metal essential for aerospace construction and other structural applications
  • Salts: Evaporites are the salts left behind when seawater evaporates; use these evaporites in the production of fertilizers, medicines, building materials, and table salt.
  • Phosphorite: (phosphate rock) remains of marine organisms that live in areas with extensive upwellings; important for all life and important in fertilizers that are used for agriculture.
gravel and sand
Gravel and Sand
  • These are important marine resources that are second only to gas and oil in their annual economic value.
  • To meet the demand for these resources, each year industry mines more than one billion metric tons of sand and gravel from offshore deposits
  • 99% comes from terrestrial sources; offshore sources account for significantly more in other nations that have better access to marine sources than terrestrial sources
energy
Energy
  • Capture wave energy to spin turbines in order to generate electricity;
  • Can also produce electricity by attaching a series of buoys by vertical rods to the sides of a wheel; buoys rise and fall, turning the wheel, producing electricity
  • Tidal changes can be used to produce energy as well
  • Tidal power seems to be the most practical, but can cause ecological damage by massive dams, changes in flow of nutrients
freshwater
Freshwater
  • May seem odd that freshwater would be a marine resource, but it is….
  • Single most important factor that determines how many people can live in a given area is the availability of freshwater.
  • Extracting freshwater from seawater involves desalinization: the removal of dissolved salts; many plants aid in this process
  • Distillation is the process of evaporating seawater and capturing the water vapor to leave the salts behind.
  • About ¼ of desalinization processes reverse osmosis: which pumps the seawater through a semi permeable membrane under pressure and against the normal osmosis gradient
  • There is still technology being developed to help decrease the cost of the desalinization processes.
nonextractive resources
Nonextractive Resources
  • These are those resources that we obtain from the sea without removing anything from the sea….. Huh??
  • These are renewable resources because there is nothing that needs renewing….
  • Examples: sea transport shipping, recreation
sea transport shipping
Sea Transport Shipping
  • Blockades: closing access to the sea for shipping; important strategy for war
  • Nearly ½ of the world’s crude oil travels in tanker ships
  • About 25 % of the world’s shipping involves carrying iron, coal, and grain
  • After World War II, the invention of cargo containers revolutionized the sea transport shipping; quicker to load and unload containers;
  • Modern container ships can hold more than 4,000 containers that can be loaded or unloaded in only a day or two
recreation
Recreation
  • Many more recreation pursuits today than the past due to a rise in standards of living and technologies
  • Activities include: sport fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing and boating, water skiing, parasailing, surfing, and more.
  • Marine recreation has become an important contributor to the fastest growing industry on Earth: TOURISM
  • Nature-based tourism, or ecotourism, is now a major component of the international tourism industry.
  • Ecotourism focuses on visiting and experiencing wildlife and natural environments; much of it is on or near the sea.
  • Will touch more on ecotourism later…..
whales
Whales
  • Whaling dates back at least two thousand years
  • While the Japanese killed the whales for the meat, the Europeans were primarily interested in blubber: protective fat layer that insulates whales
  • Blubber was rendered into whale oil, which was important as fuel; before petroleum reserves were discovered, whale oil lit the world at night
  • International whaling has been so successful that whale populations plunged at one point. Today, the estimated population of whales is around 1 million (was 4.4 million)
seals and sea lions
Seals and Sea Lions
  • Historically, seals and sea lions have been biological resources exploited for their fur and for food.
  • Up to half a million of these marine mammals die for their fur annually
  • The most famous fur hunt is the harp seal hunt, which takes place on the Canadian coast
  • Worldwide opposition continues to pressure Canada to ban this practice, with efforts going so far as to also pressure the US White House to take the matter up with Canada.
algae
Algae
  • Marine algae also used as a food source; Seaweeds and algae make up 10% of the Japanese diet
  • Algin: comes from mucus in kelp and algae has a complex molecular structure that is useful in food processing; Use it in salad dressing, ice cream, and to clarify beer and wine
  • Use nearly $250 million worth of algin annually
farming the sea
Farming the Sea
  • Aquaculture: comparable to terrestrial farming and ranching. It uses farming techniques to grow and harvest aquatic organisms
  • Growth in aquaculture is steeply upward:
  • 1999: produced more than 35 million tons of fish, seafood, and other biological resources($30 million)
  • Currently, it is growing 3 times faster than livestock production on land and may well exceed terrestrial livestock production in the next decade
  • 25% to 30% of the world’s seafood comes from aquaculture
  • Problems: Keeping animals in close areas spreads disease rapidly; pens release waste in the form of nitrites; consumption of wild resources; raising non indigenous species throw ecological balance off
  • Continue to grow despite these problems
new medicines from the ocean
New Medicines from the Ocean
  • About half of the drugs available to modern medicine come from nature
  • Barely scratched the surface when it comes to identifying organisms with potential pharmacological importance
  • Bioprospecting: the search for organisms with pharmacological or other chemical benefits
  • This can only continue with a healthy sea…
  • We could accidentally cause the extinction of the organism that holds the cure for a certain disease
the origin of territorial waters
The origin of territorial waters
  • If you find something in the sea, what country has claim to it?
  • Who, for that matter, owns the sea? How far from the coast does a country’s territory extend?
  • These have been issues between nations for almost as long as there have been ships
  • 1493: Pope Alexander VI divided the oceans between Spain and Portugal (two major sea powers of the day)….didnt last…
  • About 1000 yrs later: Mare Liberum: defended the concept of free ocean- access to the high sea by every nation
  • By early 18th century Mare Liberum was internationally recognized
  • From shore out 5 kilometers belong to that country; beyond 5 kilometers was considered high sea and belonged to no one
the truman proclamation
The Truman Proclamation
  • With the end of WWII came the first major change in the traditional definition of territorial waters
  • To protect US interests, Truman issued the Truman Proclamation of 1945: “the US regards the natural resources of the subsoil and sea bed of the continental shelf beneath the high seas…..”
  • This gave the US an important legal framework “with respect to the natural resources of the subsoil and sea bed of the continental shelf.”
  • Very quickly, other nations followed
  • The proclamation changed the concept of international waters by widening the concept of territorial waters
exclusive economic zones
Exclusive Economic Zones
  • UNCLOS: established the concept of the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ)
  • A nations EEZ extends 370 km (200 miles) from the shoreline
  • Within the EEZ, a nation has complete control of all resources, economic activity, and environmental protection.
  • Areas beyond the EEZs are the high seas (international waters) which belong to no nation. The UN deemed them property to be shared by all citizens of the world.
  • The establishment of the EEZs is a milestone in international law
  • Major step toward maintaining the ocean and its resources for generations to come
the ultimate resource
The Ultimate Resource
  • Biodiversity: concept that the preservation of the Earth and its ecosystems relies on the broad genetic diversity of all the organisms on Earth
  • Think of the biosphere with all its organisms as an airplane in flight. Imagine that each organism is a rivet holding the plane together. Now think of a species going extinct as removing a rivet…..plane will continue to fly along.
  • But…if it loses too many rivets…the structure fails and the plane crashes.
  • Some rivets are more important than others: losing just one, if its an important one, can crash the plane just as easily as losing several
  • However, biologists don’t know when losing one more species is losing too many and bring down our “plane”
  • The importance of biodiversity: EVERY ORGANISM IS A BIOLOGICAL RESOURCE.
  • The ultimate resource we get from the sea is life itself: without a functional ocean, only a few organisms would survive on Earth. We would not be one of them!