PLASTICS

MARINE POLLUTION 

MARINE POLLUTION PLASTICS

80% of pollution enters the ocean from the land. Ocean trash is a serious problem that affects the health of people, wildlife and local enonomies. The solution starts with you – on land. 


 

  • Pollutants: Our seas accumulate large amounts of pollutants that affect our beloved sharks: plastics, hydrocarbons, pesticides, DDTs, PCBs and heavy metals. Lately plastics have become one of the biggest problems facing the sea and its habitants, arriving to kill thousands of species annually.

 

  • Plastic: our seas and oceans receive all kinds of plastic: bottles, bags, balloons, packaging, among others. According to the article “Plastic Accumulation in the Mediterranean Sea”, published in PLoS ONE and led by Andrés Cózar, the Mediterranean Sea stocks between 1000 and 3000 tons of plastics in surface waters. They also demonstrate the existence of five large accumulations of waste plastics, matching the five major twists of surface water in the circulation of the global ocean is organized: North Pacific, South Pacific, North Atlantic, South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Cózar warns that we can find a bigger problem, because what scientists have found on the surface, it may be only a reflection of what is hidden in background.

Plastic pollution travels easily from land to sea. It blows in from bins and garbage dumps, or flows through stormwater drains into our waterways and eventually the sea. Once in the ocean, it slowly breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces which are eaten by animals at the bottom of our food chains.


 

  • Source: Most come from inadequate or nonexistent treatment of waste on land, sea deliberately discarded or accidentally. They also come from remains of nets, fishing gear, ships waste.

 

  • How this issue affects sharks?: Plastics can accumulate on the waterfront or accumulate in ocean gyres (large rotary current systems). Eventually with time will get into pieces and get smaller, but not disappear, since most of it are not biodegradable. Small Fishes ingest them and cause serious damage to their digestive systems. Sharks can consume these contaminated fish, eat plastic accidentally directly mistaking them for prey or get caught in plastic drift.

 

  • Recommendations

-It’s not about going against the plastic, but to make a proper use and recycling.

-Trying to meet the 4R : Reduce, reuse , recycle and recover.

-No release helium balloons into the air, at least with no air, (they’ll flow into the sea).

-Participate in coastal cleanups.

-Create a global strategy.


Since oceans provide home to many marine animals and plants , it is the responsibility of every citizen to play his part in making these cleaner oceans so that marine species can thrive for a long period of time.


Ref.

  • Plos One.  Article “Plastic Accumulation in the Mediterranean Sea”:http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/
  • Alerta Catástrofes: La contaminación de los océanos por plástico podría multiplicarse por diez en 2025 http://www.alertacatastrofes.com/contaminacion-oceanos-plastico-podria-multiplicarse-por-diez-2025/