Litter In The Seas And Oceans & How It Affects Whales
The massive outbreak of media coverage regarding climate change has definitely done its job of informing the public how severe the consequences will be if we don’t change our ways. Although people are understanding more about how our daily habits directly affect our environment, a lot of individuals still don’t understand exactly why ocean pollution is catastrophic to marine life, as well.
So, how does plastic affect marine life?
There is a current estimate of up to 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles that die every year due to plastic in the ocean. Marine animals eating plastic is one of the number one reasons why it is so detrimental to their health. They can suffocate from the plastic being ingested. In addition, it can also give the impression that the animal is full, which leads to starvation. Plastic bags, fishing nets and plastic from sodas are huge risks to marine life and lead to animals accidentally strangling themselves. Whales, in particular, are at a huge risk of consuming enough plastic to kill themselves. There are reports of dead whales having up to 100 plastic bags in their stomachs or even reports of them wrapped in plastic line.
Something else that is important to think about is when marine life is being affected by plastic, human beings are affected, as well. Since humans eat seafood, we are putting ourselves at risk for eating particles of plastic if the sea creature previously ingested some. To put an end to ocean pollution, you can start recycling, clean up after yourself at the beach, use reusable grocery bags and even partake in a beach clean-up in your community! Even the smallest actions can make the biggest difference.