Future Prospects of Ocean Dumping
The dumping of wastes in the ocean will be an important consideration in waste disposal management in the coming years. Maintaining the quality of the marine environment will require an improved understanding of the fate and effect of wastes in the ocean. In addition to the industrial chemicals, dredged material, and sewage wastes presently dumped in the ocean, consideration should be given to the behavior in the ocean of radioactive wastes, ocean mining wastes, and incineration residues. The concept of assimilative capacity provides a basis for identifying the physical, chemical, and biological processes in the ocean which are important in waste disposal considerations, and one can recognize the distinctive behaviors in the ocean of several types of chemicals such as biodegradable substances, toxic metals, and persistent synthetic organic chemicals. There is a need to improve the assessment of the biological effects of pollutants in the marine environment. Strategies for monitoring waste disposal in the sea should provide an early warning of environmental degradation and should enhance the understanding of marine processes in order to assure effective management of ocean dumping practices.
KeywordsMarine Environment Continental Shelf Waste Disposal Deep Ocean Assimilative Capacity
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