Human welfare

"Society generally views recreation at the seashore and ocean bathing as a positive experience for health. However, there has been some degree of historical awareness of the potential human health problems associated with bathing and harvesting shellfish (which are often eaten raw) in marine coastal waters contaminated by urban wastewater discharges.
 
In the past these health risks have been perceived primarily as isolated local problems. The issue of marine biotoxin poisonings associated primarily with toxic algae blooms has also been of concern. However, the dramatic global impact of these human health problems has recently been underscored by a new study aimed at developing a preliminary quantitative estimate of the impact of these pathways of disease transmission. This has been underscored by other recent studies.
 
The very provisional economic evaluation of this impact of marine pollution must be viewed with caution, since it is based on a very preliminary and unconventional economic approach. However, it might suggest that we are dealing with a global problem with major economic implications in the multi-billion dollar range every year."

Taken from GESAMP (IMO/FAO/UNESCO- IOC/WMO/WHO/IAEA/ UN/UNEP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection). 2001. Protecting the oceans from land-based activities - Land-based sources and activities affecting the quality and uses of the marine, coastal and associated freshwater environment. Rep. Stud. GESAMP No. 71, 162 pp. ISBN 82- 7701-011-7.

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