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What is the future prospect for Marine Biologist? Or where could I find this information?
Question Date: 2003-05-27
Answer 1:

The future prospects of marine biologists are subject to the same sorts of things that affect the prospects in any profession: the need for people in that profession, the number of people going into the profession, the state of the economy, etc. Another important factor to consider is how much money the government is interested in spending on research, because a lot of the jobs and funding for marine biology come from the government.

What the demand for marine biologists will be in the future is difficult to predict. However, there are a number of factors suggesting that the demand for at least some types of marine biologists will be high.

The ocean covers about 70% of the earth. Historically, people have used the ocean for transportation and to get food. Because for thousands of years people have not had the technology to safely venture far into the ocean, its vast reaches were mostly limited to explorers and a few intrepid trading cultures. Activities such as fishing, however, were strictly limited to a very narrow band along coasts. The rest of the ocean was left alone practically untouched.

In the last century our use of the ocean has increased dramatically. Early in the century mechanized trans-oceanic transportation became commonplace, and ocean-wide pollution became a very real issue. This pollution can range from dumping of materials overboard to the oils and paints that come off of the ships. With mechanization also came the ability to fish far from land, resulting in the depletion of fish not just along shores but across the entire ocean. Some countries are beginning to use the ocean for drinking water, constructing large desalinization plants to remove the salt from the seawater.

People are also drilling under the ocean to remove oil. All of this activity has led to a new problem, which affects many animals such as whales: underwater noise pollution. And, along the coasts, the vast increase in human population has led to many crises as the ocean resources people have relied on for centuries have now disappeared or been ruined.

This rapid increase in global ocean use has taught us that the ocean is not an endless supply of fish, nor is it an environment so large that we cannot alter it. In addition to a source of resources, we have also now begun to understand that the ocean is an incredibly important factor in sustaining life. For example, much of the oxygen we breathe comes from plants in the ocean, and the ocean is important in maintaining climate.

Because the ocean is so important and because there are so many challenges facing us in the future regarding how we can use the ocean, it is likely that there will be a need for marine biologists to examine how life in the ocean functions in the future. There will be a need for people to study how our activities have impacted the ocean and how we can correct problems and use the ocean more safely. Especially along coastal regions there.

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