One day, as my Mom was preparing soup, a minor accident occurred as some broth unintendedly spilled on the counter. Amazingly, the untouched spill resembled that of a fish with bubbles above it and I quickly snapped a photo, admiring the phenemon, prior to it being cleaned.
Much like this interesting fish pattern which resulted from a spill, dead zones are often caused by human spills of a much greater severity than that of just soup broth. Dead zones, or hypoxia, are places in the ocean where oxygen levels are so low that life cannot support itself, thus the region is “dead.” Although dead zones occur naturally, they can be created and are influenced by nutrient-rich runoff from certain factories, piped wastewater, fertilizers, and oil spills. An overload of nutrients results in the uncontrollable growth and decay of algae in the ocean water, which while feeding on the nutrients, also consume the oxygen vital to other organisms’ survival. Therefore, the more algae, the less oxygen, leading to the extinction of other animals within areas in the ocean affected by these “nutrient-rich” spills.
The good aspect of dead zones is that they can be reversed, however, their impact on ocean life cannot. It is crucial, therefore, to continue to limit the amount of unprecedented spills which occur around the world in order to lighten the load on ocean life and Turn the Tide on dead zones.
Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_zone_(ecology) https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/deadzone.html