Pollution of beaches, seas and oceans

It is the pollution that affects the seas and oceans, from the surf zone to the open sea. It includes that produced on the coasts, in ports, on fishing platforms, in industry, in shipping and in maritime areas.

The oceans have been polluted by man for thousands of years, since Roman times. But several recent studies show that degradation, especially in coastal areas, has accelerated markedly over the last three centuries as industrial discharges and runoff from farms and coastal cities have increased.

Many of these pollutants accumulate in the deep ocean, where they are ingested by small marine organisms through which they enter the global food chain, ending up in the fish we eat.