How Decreasing Oxygen Levels in the Ocean Could Impact Businesses (Watch)


There’s a new problem facing the world’s ocean’s today — a loss of oxygen. And believe it or not, this too could have a big impact on some businesses, those dependent on the bounty of the sea.

Scientists have recently determined that global oxygen levels have dropped about 2 percent between 1960 and 2010. That might sound like a small number. But it actually represents a pretty significant change that could impact marine life as well as fisheries and other aquaculture businesses.

That figure represents a global average. So it’s not that every part of the ocean is seeing these significant changes. But in some areas, there are growing “dead zones,” which are areas with extremely low oxygen concentration where fish and basically any creatures that you can see with the naked eye can’t survive.

Impact on the Fishing Industry?

Many of these areas are concentrated in deep parts of the ocean as well. So the fisheries and other marine businesses that mainly deal with creatures that live close to the surface shouldn’t see any real impact yet. But the ocean is a delicate ecosystem. So if some creatures of the deep can’t survive due to lower oxygen levels, it could have a sort of domino effect and eventually impact those surface creatures as well.

Scientists attribute the lower oxygen levels to increasing ocean temperatures and less circulation of water. They also expect that the trend will continue. So we could see another decrease of between 1 and 7 percent by 2100.

Ocean Wave Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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