Degradation of the marine environment by alteration of physical habitats stems
from a variety of human motives and activities. Coastal development often entails
dredging up of bottom sediments for ports or to create new land surfaces; sand
mining, construction of jetties and beach "improvements" to attract
tourists alters wave action and destabilizes the shoreline; aquaculture development
can mean wholesale cutting of mangrove forests and conversion of natural habitat
and the subsequent loss of important fisheries.
Two major effects of these activities are erosion and sedimentation. Shoreline
alterations interfere with normal sediment transport, leading to severe erosion
of beaches. Excessive sedimentation can destroy entire benthic habitats such
as seagrass beds, and kill corals and other marine invertebrates particular
the delicate filter feeders.
Many of the Regional Seas programmes address these problems in their Action
Plan activities related to integrated coastal zone management and environmentally
Read more on the FAO website:
environmental impacts of coastal aquaculture (1991). (47): 35 p.