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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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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…..
  • 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.
  • 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!