How Does Water Pollution Affect Aquatic Life? (7 Terrible Effects)

How does water pollution affect animals that live in water.

Are you trying to learn more about water pollution?

Have you ever stopped to wonder what water pollution does to the creatures that live in the affected water sources?

How does water pollution affect aquatic life?

In this article, we’ll give you a quick introduction to the various ways in which aquatic life is affected by water pollution. You’ll learn about a handful of ways fish and other water dwelling creatures have to deal with water pollution every day, and you’ll find out just what this means for the whole world, too.

Unfortunately, there’s already been a lot of damage done to aquatic habitats, and some of that is irreversible. However, a lot of it can be halted or even improved with time if we all work together to make a difference.

This is why it’s so crucial to make sure you fully understand everything you can about water pollution, so that you can do something to fight back against it. Even if you’re only taking a stand in a small way, that small way is sure to make a big difference when everyone does the same thing.

Read on to learn more information about water pollution and its effects on aquatic creatures.

How does water pollution affect animals that live in water?

Below, we’ll introduce you to several problems faced by animals that live in water. You’ll find out just what water pollution really does to these creatures and just how serious this problem really is. Although it can be very upsetting to think about this, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the problem so you can make some choices about how to improve your own daily life and activities to cut back on water pollution. Here are a few ways water-dwelling creatures are affected by water pollution:

how does pollution affect animals

1. Water contaminants kill smaller aquatic life. 

Bacteria, microorganisms, heavy metals, chemicals, and sediment are all types of pollution that may be found in water sources. Smaller fish cannot handle exposure to these pollutants, and so they will die off very quickly. This is also true of other creatures that live in the water, such as small frogs, crabs, snails, and more. These little creatures don’t have a fighting chance against pollution.

2. Water contaminants kill bugs and other smaller creatures that water dwellers eat. 

Many types of fish eat insects, krill, and other creatures that live in the water but are even smaller than little fish. When these creatures are destroyed by water pollution, this quickly becomes a huge problem for the animals that eat them. Those types of small creatures that can travel to and from the water, like many types of insects, can also carry the pollutants back to where they came from on land and may, over time, contaminate whole groups that haven’t even come into contact with the polluted water at all.

effects of water pollution

3. When smaller fish die, bigger fish don’t have anything to eat and will eventually starve too. 

This is just part of the food chain. If a large fish eats a medium fish, and the medium fish eats a small fish, it stands to reason that when the small fish dies, both of the other two predators will eventually die too.

4. In time, birds and land animals that eat fish will also starve and die off because the fish supply is dwindling. 

The more the water source is affected by contamination, the more likely it is to have an effect on the entire food chain. Pretty soon, water birds like pelicans and seagulls will start to die off, and land/water creatures like alligators will as well. There is so much more that relies on a source of water than just the fish that live there, and sometimes it can be hard to remember that.

5. Entire habitats and ecosystems are destroyed by this type of pollution. 

how does water pollution affect fish

Water pollution is destroying whole ecosystems all over the world right now. Wetlands are disappearing because of sediment pollution and the oceans are being heavily contaminated because of all the dumping of garbage and waste that happens there. The more we pollute our water supplies, the less likely we are to continue seeing all the different types of habitats and ecosystems that once existed on the planet. And when habitats go away, the animals that once lived there go away too—or they must move somewhere else. If this happens, the relocated animals quickly become an invasive species and may end up doing even more harm in their new location.

6. Fish can become contaminated with heavy metal poisoning. 

Fish that swim in water contaminated by chemicals and heavy metal deposits can and do become contaminated with these types of pollutants. These fish then have high levels of nitrates, mercury, lead, and other minerals and nutrients. This is called nutrient poisoning. It’s bad for the fish and the creatures that eat them, and it’s equally bad for humans who may end up consuming these contaminated fish and getting very sick from the same type of poisoning, too.

7. Aquatic creatures can become trapped or injured by pollutants. 

effect of waste on aquatic life

You’ve probably already heard time and time again that sea turtles can get hurt by ingesting plastic bags floating in the ocean or that fish and birds can get stuck in soda can rings. This is all very true, but there’s a lot more to it than just that. Trash piles floating in the water can trap birds, fish, and other aquatic life and slowly suffocate or starve them. Garbage that is ingested by water creatures can quickly kill them or cause them serious harm. Some water-dwelling creatures have even been known to have trash grow into their bodies or shells over time. This is the sad truth of the water polluted world we live in.

Conclusion

There is so much to keep in mind when you’re thinking about the problem of water pollution and how it affects aquatic life. This is an issue that we all need to be concerned with, because it’s going to affect us—and it has already begun to, whether we realize it yet or not. If we don’t do anything to solve the problem of water pollution now, aquatic life may be in serious trouble within the next ten years. Entire species will disappear forever, and this will affect the food chain in such a way that it will get back around to humans in no time. In many places, it already has, and there are some species of fish that humans have used for food in the past that are no longer safe for consumption anymore.

By making a few small changes in your life at home, at work, and in your community, you can start helping in the fight against water pollution worldwide.

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