These big cranes are used to unload containers and other cargo from the ships. You can see how heavy the containers must be from the size of the cranes - these are enormous!
Shipping Containers in Dock
Once the cargo ship has reached port, the containers are unloaded by a huge crane. These will be loaded onto lorries later on to be taken by road to wherever the cargo inside is to be sold.
This cargo ship is transporting large goods into (importing) and out of the country (exporting). Each big box, or container, holds the cargo. Cargo is another word for 'goods' or items people have bought, sold or need moving from one place to another. International shipping between countries transports items, like cars, fridges and televisions, from where they are made, to where they are sold. Shipping has enabled us to have access to items and resources from around the world.
Commercial fishing, fishing to sell the catch, is an important industry in the UK as we're an island, so lots of people are employed as fishers (fishermen and women). Fish are a healthy food source too, but we must be mindful of the environmental impact of the fishing methods and on fish stocks. Buying sustainable fish is really important. For more information, see the Fisheries section or visit www.fishonline.org.
Fishing boats, like this, are used to catch much of the fish we buy. The nets are dragged along behind the boat. The UK fishing industry provides us with jobs and a source of healthy food.
Photo taken by Peter Duncan.
This is an oil rig. It is used to extract (take out) oil from within the earth. Oil is a fossil fuel which means that it will run out one day - it is non-renewable. We use oil to make petrol for our cars and in plastics. Once the oil has been extracted, it is taken to shore on large boats. Although there are benefits to us having oil, there are environmental impacts of both drilling for the oil and installing a rig like this. Sometimes there are oil spills too, which leave a lasting impact on our ocean.
Tidal Power Generator
This SeaGen turbine converts the movement of the tides into electricity. As the tides won't run out, tidal power is a renewable energy source. This form of energy production is only just becoming available, so it will be a while before the energy we use in our homes comes from the tides.
Photo by Fundy (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
This buoy floats in the water, rising up and down with the waves. This movement generates electricity. Wave power is another renewable energy source as the waves will not run out. Producing energy like this has less of an environmental impact as there is less damage caused by installing the buoy and there is no need to create pollution by burning fuel. It is important to remember that there is an impact of each action though, and there will be some local disturbance to the marine habitat.
Photo taken by Ocean Power Technologies
(www.oceanpowertechnologies.com, via Wikimedia Commons)
A Wind Turbine
This close-up shows the three blades of the wind turbine. When the wind hits these, they turn and generate electricity. This renewable energy form is becoming increasingly popular as we look to replace fossil fuels as our main energy source.
Photo taken by Malcolm Watson.
Look carefully and in the distance you can see a series of wind turbines (like windmills). They are often just off the coast, where the winds are stronger. As the wind blows the turbine around, electricity is generated. Wind power is a renewable energy source. As the turbines have to be fixed securely into the seabed there is some damage caused by their installation, although the energy they produce is 'clean'.
Photo taken by Rachel Stevens/MCS.
Cargo Container Video
This video shows a container ship being unloaded in port an dis for use with the learning outline, 'How do we use the sea?'.