Scientists have discovered a huge dead zone covering an area of about 60,000 sq. km in the Bay of Bengal containing little or no oxygen.
The area is not technically dead, but it hosts microorganisms which are largely responsible for removing nitrogen from the ocean.
Even though such dead zones are common in other oceans as well, there is often no indication of nitrogen loss in such bodies.
So, what are dead zones? Dead zones are large areas in water bodies which have low oxygen concentration. They have no marine life as the immovable ones die due to suffocation while the movable ones, like fish, swim away.
These may occur naturally but are also caused by increased human activities.
The main cause for zones formed by humans is nutrient pollution.
Excess nitrogen and phosphorus can result in the overgrowth of algae, which later decomposes, consuming excess oxygen, thus depleting the supply available to marine life.
Other famous seas and oceans which have dead zones are:
- Entire bottom floor of Baltic Sea
- Some areas in Gulf of Mexico
- Western coasts of North and South America
- Coast of Namibia
Down To Earth
It’s time we check our activities, or we will be left with nothing.