Is marine life being affected by our waste?

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Ludie Heidenreich asked a question: Is marine life being affected by our waste?
Asked By: Ludie Heidenreich
Date created: Tue, Mar 9, 2021 3:12 PM
Date updated: Tue, Jun 28, 2022 11:21 AM

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Top best answers to the question «Is marine life being affected by our waste»

There is a substantial body of evidence documenting the harmful effects of aquatic plastic debris on river and marine organisms. It has been estimated that plastic marine debris adversely affects at least 267 species globally, including 86% of sea turtles, 44% of seabirds, and 43% of marine mammals.

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An investigation by the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency has linked marine waste to the deaths of a million seabirds and 100 000 marine mammals. Lost at Sea: The Urgent Need to Tackle Marine Litter says “plastic waste has polluted the oceans to such an extent that no area remains uncontaminated”.

The effects on sea animals: Water pollution is affecting marine life in many harmful and threatening ways. Some effects of pollution are imposing on sea animals is as follows: Waste such as metals, plastics, glass, and radioactive drainage is responsible for the killing of hundreds of sea animals each year.

Before there was a waste collection system in place on land, trash was left in the streets and disease was rampant. Similarly, the trash we are dumping into the ocean is having catastrophic effects on the animals that call the ocean home and the people who rely on oceanic ecosystems to sustain their livelihood.

Floating plastic debris is currently the most abundant form of marine litter. This plastic waste makes up 80% of all marine debris from surface waters to deep-sea sediments. The effect of this plastic waste is monumental with around 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces floating in the open ocean – weighing up to 269,000 tonnes.

It affects everyone – from the animals, to the plants, and even to us (as we’re likely to eat seafood tainted with plastic waste). In particular, there are common ways that plastic affects marine life. For one, plastic is often mistaken for food; a floating bag, for example, looks a lot like a jellyfish to a turtle (a common source of food).

Nonetheless, many countries are taking action. According to a 2018 report from the United Nations, more than sixty countries have enacted regulations to limit or ban the use of disposable plastic items. Pollutants are dumped into the ocean. This waste affects the daily life of fish and other marine creatures.

According to the United Nations, at least 800 species worldwide are affected by marine debris, and as much as 80 percent of that litter is plastic. It is estimated that up to 13 million metric tons of plastic ends up in the ocean each year—the equivalent of a rubbish or garbage truck load’s worth every minute.

Marine organisms are affected by pollution in many ways but the most profound, long-term damage comes from the bioaccumulation of toxins such as metals, pesticides, herbicides and pharmaceuticals that make their way to the ocean. Biomagnification of Mercury in Marine Life – Bretwood Higman, Ground Truth Trekking, CC-BY-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Humans and Mother Nature share blame in the destruction of ocean habitats, but not equally. Hurricanes and typhoons, storm surges, tsunamis and the like can cause massive, though usually temporary,...

The good news is, we can all make a difference by being mindful of our plastic consumption. If we use less plastic, less will end up in the ocean … or worse, in the mouths of animals. There is a ...

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