Current Status of Marine Pollution and Mitigation Strategies in Arid Region: A Detailed Review

Prerana Chitrakar, Mahad Said Baawain*, Ahmad Sana, Abdullah Al-Mamun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Coastal pollution is becoming a significant threat for both marine ecosystems and humans. Marine pollution and coastal degradation are severely exacerbated by anthropogenic activities involving the discharge of industrial and domestic effluents, ballast water and brine wastes, accidental spillage of oil and radioactive wastes, and the modification of coastal structures. Understanding the sources of marine pollution and their possible impacts allows us to measure the current mitigation and conservation strategies aimed at protecting marine ecosystems from further deterioration. This review assessed the status of marine pollution based on the literature with a focus on the sea in arid regions over the last four decades. The review also summarized the degree of contamination of heavy metals and petroleum hydrocarbons that accumulated in marine water, sediments and living organisms. In addition, the review critically suggested several mitigation strategies to alleviate the impacts of such pollutions. The key findings indicated that the oil and gas production and processing industries, desalination industries, sea traffic, urban development, and discharge of treated wastewater and ballast water along with seasonal upwelling, and climate change were the main contributors of marine pollution in these regions including the Sea of Oman. The major identified pollutants were heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, organochlorine, tar, harmful algal blooms, marine debris, non-native species, and sediment that are posing severe threats to marine biodiversity and ecosystems. The occurrence of radionuclides in these regions seems to be smaller compared to the World Ocean because of the insignificant disposal of nuclear waste due to strict law enforcement and monitoring. However, marine litter, micro-plastic, radionuclides, greenhouse gases, and non-point pollutant sources have not been investigated properly. Therefore, efforts to identify the possible sources of pollution, estimate their impacts based on field data and numerical modeling, and understand ocean dynamics with regard to the transportation and deposition of sediments and pollutants need to be undertaken in order to protect the coastal and marine environment and ecosystems. Furthermore, integration of robotic aircraft along with satellite surveillance can be an additional measure deployed for the purposes of monitoring oil spillage, illegal ballast water discharge, harmful algal blooms, and beach utilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-348
Number of pages32
JournalOcean Science Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2019


  • ballast and brine discharge
  • climate change
  • heavy metal
  • marine pollution
  • petro-chemical pollution
  • Sea of Oman
  • sedimentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography


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