Appearing like gigantic blue marbles, oceans are the largest water reservoir, covering 71% of the globe. The air we breathe, the oxygen we inhale, the heat vital to keep us warm, everything comes from oceans.
Oceans prevent the earth from getting too hot or too cold by circulating heat, making it inhabitable. Besides these benefits, the vastness of the ocean integrates an immense diversity of animals and plants. From tiny organisms to large blue whales, oceans are home to millions of creatures.
However, over the past few years, human activities have drowned the oceans with piles of trash and plastic. Only Americans are generating 10.5million tons of plastic every year. Out of this, only 1 to 2% is recycled while the remaining goes to oceans.
Unfortunately, plastic does not go away; instead, it starts splitting into smaller pieces. With time, these fragments absorb organic pollutants and sink in the marine bottom, waiting to be ingested by animals.
These poison integrating chunks are no less dangerous than time bombs. Whenever marine animals, including fish, turtles, and mammals, get entangled by these pieces, they immediately die following the suffocation.
Meanwhile, some of the plastic fragments are taken in by marine creatures, thus entering the food chain. When humans consume seafood, they fall prey to these toxic chemicals.
Marine pollution has become one of the major issues the world is facing today. According to research, water pollution has impacted more than 267 species, including 44% sea birds,86% turtles, and 43% of marine mammals.
In 2010, a California grey whale was found dead on the shores of the Puget Sound. The whale’s stomach examination indicated the presence of a small towel, duct tape, surgical gloves, a golf ball, and more than 20 plastic bags.
Recent research indicated that marine pollution is severely affecting the turtle’s population worldwide. More turtles are suffering from suffocation after ingesting pollutants. Among the entire turtle population, young ones are more vulnerable to eat debris as they aren’t as selective as their elders.
Apart from fish and turtles, seabirds are another victim of plastic debris. Seabirds that feed on the ocean surface also carry food for their chicks. A study indicated that almost 98% of chick samples were detected with plastic debris.
Unfortunately, humans contribute the majority of these deadly pollutants, which are imposing serious threats to marine organisms. So, being a major contributor to marine pollution, our responsibility is to protect our marine environment and unique creatures.