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Marine resources: biotic, mineral and energy resources UPSC |Oceanography | Physical Geography

Marine Resources:

Resources are things that are important to human beings. There are many things in the ocean; both abiotic and biotic that has utilities to human being and are called marine resources.

Marine resources can be classified into the following types:

  • Biotic Resources
  • Abiotic resources
    • Mineral Resources
    • Energy Resources

Biotic Resources:

Biotic resources can be further classified into the following types:

  • Plankton
  • Nekton
  • Benthos


It can be further classified into:


  • It is autotrophs, floating micro plants. For example, Algae and diatoms.


  • These are floating micro animals.


It can be further classified into :

  • Fishes
  • Mammals such as dolphins and Blue whale


Benthos lives in the benthos zone of the ocean which means on the ocean floor mainly on the continental shelf.

For example, 

  • Seaweeds
  • Mangrove Forest
  • Coral reef

Fish Resources:

  • Fishes are marine biotic resources that are not equally distributed over the ocean. The following are some fishing hotspots n the Ocean:
  • Japan Sea where Oyashic cold current and Kuroshio warm current meets.
  • Peru coast where Humboldt ( cold current) and Equaratieal warm current meets.
  • California coast on the meeting point of California( cold current) and Alaska Warm current.
  • Newfoundland on the meeting point of Labrador cold current and Gulf stream warm current.
  • Canaries islands on the meeting point of canaries' cold current and warm current.
  • South Africa coast on the Atlantic sides where Benguela cold current and South equatorial warm current meet.


  • Seaweeds are plankton which has high nutritional values and can be used as nutritional supplements for achieving nutritional security.
  • It is also used in pharmaceuticals, textile, fodder, fertile, and biomass.
  • It will help to overcome food shortages with the growing population.

Mangrove Forest:

  • It is developed in the coastal region.
  • It acts as a guard against sea storms, and tides.
  • It controls soil erosion in the coastal areas.
  • It also provides fuel to human beings and the rich habitat of biodiversity.

Mineral Resources:

  • Salt
  • Manganese or seawater Magnesia
  • Polymetallic Nodules
  • Cobalt
  • Pearl
  • Sulfur found in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Diamond found in South Africa's Continental Shelf
  • Monazite sand on Kerala shore


  • Salt is a mineral marine resource that is also not uniformly distributed. 
  • India is the third-largest salt producer country after China and the USA.
  • Salt is extracted commercially where upwelling happens that means along with the cold current coast.

For Example,

  • Peru cost
  • California
  • The canaries or Moroocoo Coast
  • Benguela Coast
  • West Australian coast

Energy Resources:

  • Non-renewable
    • Petroleum and Natural Gas
  • Renewable
    • Tidal Energy
    • Wave Energy
    • Winds Energy

Petroleum and Natural Gas

  • The Continental shelf is the largest reservoir of offshore petroleum and natural gas.
  • Bombay high on the Mumbai coast is one example.
  • Exploration is underway in the Arabian sea, Bay of Bengal, Madagascar, and the Northwest coast of Australia in the Indian Ocean.
  • The Arctic continental shelf is the largest reservoir of offshore petroleum.
  • South China Sea
  • Brazil coast
  • Mexico Coast

Marine resources distribution

The distribution of Marine resources is shown in the above image.

Try to solve the following question:

  • Identify the importance of biotic resource regions of India and highlight their problems. ( UPSC 2016,250 words, 20 marks)
  • Evaluate the impact of technology on resource utilization in India. (UPSC 2016, 200 words, 15 marks)
  •  Marine resources are economically very significant. Discuss citing suitable examples. (UPSC-2020, 10 Marks, 150 words)
  •  Describe the potential marine energy resources with reference to their benefits, harvestability, and environmental impacts. (UPSC 2018, 250 words, 20 marks)

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