ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Oceans Resources - Ocean Minerals and Resources

Updated on November 16, 2013

Oceans are sources of a number of useful resources and as the resources available on the continents are being utilized at a high rate and the demand for various resources is increasing rapidly due to the ever-increasing population, in future, it is the oceans towards which mankind is going to look for supply of various types of resources.

The marine resources are of various types and they can be classified into the categories of food resources, mineral resources and energy resources.

Food Resources

Oceans are an important source of a number of food stuffs and it is believed that they can meet the food requirements of the mankind for a long time. Fish are the most important component of the food resources of the oceans. They constitute not only a major economic activity in a number of countries but also provide millions of tonnes of food. The most important fishing regions are the shallow sea areas of the temperate latitudes. Such shallow sea areas are often found on the submarine platforms called the banks. Grand Banks and Dogger Banks in the Atlantic Ocean are two such important fishing grounds. The leading countries of the world in terms of the fish catch are Japan, China, Norway and Peru. The areas of mixing of warm and cold currents in the oceans are the other important areas for fishing and the regions such as New Found-land coastal area are important due to this factor. The fishing in the tropical seas is less developed due to the climatic restraints. Fish being perishable, can not be stored for long in the tropical latitudes. However, these days with the advent of the refrigeration technology, this activity is picking up in tropical seas also.

Besides fish the oceans have a large potential of other food resources also such as plankton. However till now the fish are the most important marine food source utilized at the commercial scale. Other sources such as crabs and shrimps etc. are used in relatively small major. Utilization of the plankton resources has also made a beginning in countries like Japan but the level of utilization of this resource is rather low. However, it is believed that the dependence of mankind on the oceans as a source of food resources will increase in future and they will meet the increasingly large proportions of the protein requirements of the world.

Mineral Resources

Oceans are an important source of a number of minerals. The mineral resources of the marine regions occur in various forms, such as in solution in the water, as precipitates on the bottom and also below the ocean bed. The most important mineral resource obtained from the dissolved oceanic resources is the common salt. Bulk of the world requirements of the common salt are met from the seas. Tropical regions with high temperatures are the ideal areas for production of salt from the sea water. Besides common salt, a large number of minerals occur in the dissolved form in sea water. They include substances like chlorine, bromine and iodine. The sea water contains even the rare substances like uranium. Some of these resources are currently utilized. Bulk of the production of iodine in a number of countries including USA is obtained from this source. However, the level of utilization of these substances is rather low. Fresh water is a very important resource which can be obtained from the sea. It is already being done in a number of countries in the Middle East. However due to the lack of a sufficiently low cost technology, even this utilization of the sea water is being made only on a small scale. Development of a low cost technology is bound to increase the level of utilization of this marine resource in a number of water deficit areas.

The minerals found in the precipitated form include the deposits of substances such as iron, copper, aluminum and lime etc. in the marine deposits. Red clay found very extensively on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean is specially rich in iron. Besides these a large area of the ocean bed is covered by poly-metallic nodules. These nodules vary in size from vary small to a diameter of several centimeters and they contain a number of metals such as copper, manganese, iron and chromium etc. Due to a high proportion of manganese in these nodules, they are often called manganese nodules. Another term referring to these nodules is the potato ores, so called due to their irregular shape. It is estimated that the amount of various metals available in these nodules is enough to meet the global requirements for many centuries. However, at present these nodules are not being mined as it is a costly proposition in comparison to the cost of production of the minerals from the continental sources. However, in many areas, their utilization is contemplated if a suitable and low cost mining technology is developed.

Among the mineral resources found in the rocks of the ocean bed, the most important ones and currently utilized resources are the deposits of coal and oil. Most of the coal deposits occurring in the rocks of the sea bottom in fact are extensions of the coal deposits on land and they are being worked in a number of regions including the European region. The oil deposits occurring under the sea bed, in both shallow and deeper waters are being utilized most extensively the world over. Even in India, a large proportion of the domestic crude and gas production is being obtained from the marine areas such as Bombay High. Exploration and development of oil reserves in the oceanic areas is receiving a high priority.

Energy Resources

The energy resources of the oceans are almost as varied as the food and mineral resources. In fact some of the energy resources are the mineral resources and oil and coal reserves found in the rocks of the ocean beds are examples of these. As has been stated already they are among the most extensively used energy resources of the oceans. Besides these the waves and tides also hold a large potential of energy and both these sources are being used to varying levels in different parts of the world. France, USA, Canada and Japan are the leading countries who have developed the tidal and wave energy resources. In India also both these resources are being developed at an experimental basis. The project for harnessing the tidal energy has been developed in the Kutch region of Gujarat and a project for development of wave energy has been taken up in Kerala coastal region at Vizhingam.

Another very important source of energy in the oceans is the thermal gradient energy of the ocean waters. OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion) is one of the potential areas in the field of energy. However, this source is a potential source and technology for harnessing this source is being perfected and the utilization is only in the early stages. A project to utilize the OTEC energy is coming up at the Tamilnadu coast.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)