Tag Archives: ocean cleanup

Plastics Don’t Disappear, But They Do End Up In Seabirds’ Bellies

bird plastic belly

The vast majority of debris in the ocean — about 75 percent of it — is made of plastic. It can consist of anything from plastic bottles to packaging materials, but whatever form it takes, it doesn’t go away easily.

While plastic may break down into smaller and smaller pieces, some as small as grains of sand, these pieces are never truly biodegradable. The plastic bits, some small enough that they’re called microplastics, threaten marine life like fish and birds, explains Richard Thompson, a professor of marine biology at Plymouth University in the U.K.

“The smaller the piece of debris, the more accessible it is — and the wider the range of creatures that could potentially eat it,” says Thompson, who talked with NPR’s Melissa Block about his research on the effects of these tiny particles.

Thompson says limiting the damage plastics can cause to sea life doesn’t mean giving up plastic entirely. “It’s not about banning plastics,” Thompson says. “It’s about thinking about the ways that we deal with plastics at the end of their lifetime to make sure that we capture the resource.”

By recycling items like plastic bottles, he says, and then ultimately recycling those products again, what might have become harmful debris can be turned instead to better use — and kept out of the ocean.

You can hear Block’s full conversation with Thompson here: http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=322959714&m=323032849

Thousands of Lives Coming to a Premature End

The last moments of thousands of fish in the Gulf of Mexico. They are dying from asphyxiation, due to the depletion of oxygen in the water from the annihilation of phytoplankton from ocean pollution.

This isn’t a singular occurrence, this is happening all over the world! See: https://projectoceanus.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/mass-fish-deaths-millions-have-been-found-dead-all-over-the-world-in-the-past-month/

If our oceans go, we go! Stop polluting our waters!

Tell us what you think.

(video compliments of GuppyStorm photography)

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Sign this petition to help us create marine reserves now! – Greenpeace International

Marine Reserves now! | Greenpeace International (Click on the link above)

Marine reserves can benefit adjacent fisheries from both the ‘spillover’ of adult and juvenile fish beyond the reserve boundaries and through the export of eggs and larvae. Inside the reserves, populations increase in size and individuals live longer, grow larger and develop increased reproductive potential.

Marine reserves could even benefit highly migratory species, such as sharks, tuna and billfish, if reserves were created in places where they are currently highly vulnerable, such as nursery grounds, spawning sites or aggregation sites such as seamounts.

Large-scale marine reserves are areas that are closed to all extractive uses, such as fishing and mining, as well as disposal activities. Within these areas there may be core zones where no human activities are allowed, for instance areas that act as scientific reference areas or areas where there are particularly sensitive habitats or species.

Some areas within the coastal zone may be opened to small-scale, non-destructive fisheries providing that these are sustainable, within ecological limits, and have been decided upon with the full participation of affected local communities.

Marine reserves are not just about overfishing – even if one of the primary reasons for creating marine reserves is preserving fish stocks. They are increasingly seen as an essential global tool to protect the marine environment, including from pollution caused by the disposal of wastes (radioactive wastes, munitions and carbon dioxide).

(excerpt compliments of Greenpeace)