#1 Permafrost: Global warming causes permafrost to melt, which releases long-suppressed mercury. This mercury can reach the ocean where it is toxic for marine life, leading to negative effects on food webs and fisheries due to reproduction issues.
#2 Plastics: Around 91% of all the plastic waste that has ever been created is unrecycled and much of it remains in the environment. Bioplastics and new technology could reduce future waste, however, their appropriateness for the marine environment is in doubt and they will still leave an environmental footprint.
#3 Antarctic benthos: Life on the seabed around the Antarctic is vital for regulating GHG. Global warming results in the melting of Antarctic ice which can destroy life on the ocean floor, reducing carbon storage and causing increased warming. However, it may increase phytoplankton populations, the ecological impacts of which are not fully understood.
#4 Aquaculture: A growing global population will demand greater seafood consumption, which will likely require an increase in aquaculture production. These fish farms will need huge amounts of both marine and terrestrial-based nutrient-dense feed in order to maintain them. This will have environmental implications by altering marine food webs and possible conflict over agricultural land-use.
#5 Sunscreen: Around 14,000 tonnes of sunscreen enter our oceans every year. Sunscreens are toxic to some marine life and can cause coral bleaching. However, scientists are working to develop 'green' shinorine sunscreens that mitigate the damage to marine life.
#6 Environmental insurance: The development of insurance policies to protect natural assets is a novel concept that could help to protect fragile marine environments. While in its infancy, the idea thus far has seen great success and could be implemented as a conservation measure in the future.
#7 Mesopelagic fisheries: Depleting fish stocks and a growing demand for seafood could result in the exploitation of the deep ocean to take pressure off shallower fisheries. However, these deep-sea fish populations are slow to replenish and are a significant carbon sink, meaning their removal could cause problems in controlling CO2 levels in the ocean.