The animal world is mostly enigmatic and interesting for the human eye, for this reason many people are passionate about it and decide to devote their lives to research and service to the animal kingdom.
The studies of this are separated by specialty so that the studies referring to them are more specific. In this case we will find the marine immensity and the guild that is focused on their study.
What is Marine biology?
Marine biology focuses on the study of life in the oceans and other saltwater environments, including estuaries and wetlands.
Here all forms of animal life and plant life are included, from the microscopic picoplankton to the blue whale, the largest creature in the world.
Marine biology involves the intrusion of diverse such as astronomy, biological oceanography, cell biology, ecology, chemistry, geology, molecular biology, meteorology, physical oceanography and zoology. This discipline covers a large area, so most researchers select a particular area that is related to this and specialize in it. These specializations can be based on a particular species, group, behavior, ecosystem or technique.
What Does a Marine Biologist Do?
The people who study this race are marine biologists, they study marine organisms in their natural habitats. They can be responsible for investigating the behaviors or the physiology of a population. Or, they evaluate the condition of the habitats and the effects of the human presence on these habitats.
Generally, their research involves conducting inventories of species, perhaps testing and monitoring marine creatures exposed to pollutants, making collections to analyze ocean samples, preserving specimens and specimens of species, as well as unknown diseases.
Marine biology sub fields
- Microbiology: This branch, as the name implies, is responsible for the study of microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa and, of course, algae.
It is an important field, which among its numerous objectives has to understand what role microorganisms play in marine ecosystems.
To give an illustrative example, we find that bacteria are fundamental to the biological processes of the ocean, because they comprise 98% of the ocean’s biomass; this corresponds to the total weight of all the organisms found in a volume determined. Microbiology also plays an important role in understanding the food chain that connects plants and herbivorous and carnivorous animals.
- Environmental marine biology: Here they focus on the study of ocean health. It is of the utmost importance that scientists can determine the quality of the marine environment and thus ensure that the quality of the water is adequate for a healthy environment to develop. Pollutants, sediments and runoff have become potential threats in regards to marine health.
This branch does not leave out marine environmental health on the high seas.
- Marine ethology: This corresponds to the study of the behavior of marine animals so that the animals that share the planet with us can be understood. This particular field is very important to study the species in danger of extinction, and to know how to help those species whose habitats are being threatened by man and by natural phenomena.
- Marine mammology: This is probably the most famous field in marine biology and which represents the goal of the majority. Here the cetaceans are studied: families of whales and dolphins, and pinnipeds (seals, walruses and sea lions). Here its reproduction, health, habitat, behavior and populations are studied. It is a field in which it is very difficult to enter since there is too much competition and a lot of funding is needed.
- Ichthyology: This focuses on the study of both saltwater and freshwater fish.
More than 25,000 species of fish have been recorded in the world, among which are: bone fish, cartilaginous fish, skates, sharks, rays and fish without jaws. Ichthyologists are those who are responsible for studying all aspects of fish from its classification to everything related to its morphology, evolution, behavior, ecology and diversity.
- Fisheries and Aquaculture: It aims to protect biodiversity and create sustainable sources of seafood in terms of the global dependence on fish for protein. So in this field we find different areas.
– The ecology of fisheries is shaped by the study of their population dynamics, reproduction, food webs, habitat and behavior.
-Fishing management forms the study on the impact of overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction and toxin levels, as well as ways to increase populations for sustainability such as fish products.
– Aquaculture investigates the development of individual organisms and also their environment. Its objective is to develop the necessary knowledge to be able to cultivate certain species in a designated area in open waters or also in captivity in order to satisfy the demand of consumers.
How is Marine Biology Studied?
The rise of technological advances has opened the ocean to exploration from shallow waters to the depths of the oceans.
Therefore, new tools for marine research are being added to the list of tools that have been used for decades, among which we can find:
- Trawling: it was used in the past to collect marine specimens for study, but this is a very harmful practice for delicate marine environments and of course it is difficult to collect samples in a discriminated manner.
But if they are used in intermediate water environments, trawl nets can be very effective in collecting samples of elusive species that have a wide range of migration.
- Plankton nets: these have a very fine tissue made to trap microscopic organisms in seawater to be studied later.
- Vehicles operated remotely: these have been used since the 1950s. They are used to transmit data between the vehicle and the investigator, this serves for remote operations in areas where diving is limited by safety.
- Satellites: these are used to measure vast geographic data of the ocean, be it the temperature and also the color of the ocean.
Normally the temperature data provide information regarding certain characteristics of the oceans is they currents, cold emergence, and climate and even warm water currents.
- Computers: computer technology is used in this science to collect, process, display and analyze sensor data that are located in the marine environment in order to measure temperature, depth, salinity and all those necessary meteorological data.
- Sounding: Here the hydrophones, the counterpart of the microphone, take center stage, these detect and at the same time record acoustic signals in the ocean. The data obtained from these recordings can be used to monitor waves, marine mammals and many other oceanic activities.
Marine biology importance
Marine biology now has an important role. As the world population emphasizes our society’s capacity to produce both foods, water and shelter, we will continue to observe the oceans in order to sustain our basic needs.
On the other hand, technological advances, together with demand, will be responsible for improving our capacity to obtain those needs.
Then it will depend on us to take advantage of the existing knowledge about the ocean to investigate more about it and help us and the ocean life itself.
Marine biology, like any other science, is important for human development and for life in general. Marine biology specifically has an important impact on our ecosystem and the way in which human beings develop, so their advance and development provides us with infinite benefits.