It’s painful to see such a mas­sive prob­lem

Sunday Tasmanian - - News -

truck-full of pol­lu­tants hits our oceans ev­ery minute. Half of all marine life has dis­ap­peared in just the last 40 years.

Plas­tic pol­lu­tion alone has al­ready im­pacted 44 per cent of all seabird species and 43 per cent of all marine mam­mals. By 2050 there will be more plas­tic in the ocean than fish.

These shock­ing find­ings and pre­dic­tions come from re­spected bod­ies such as the CSIRO and Zoo­log­i­cal So­ci­ety of Lon­don.

The preva­lence of marine de­bris has be­come so wide­spread it’s pre­dicted that sea birds who suf­fer from plas­tic in­ges­tion may reach 95 per cent of all species by 2050, ac­cord­ing to the CSIRO.

A 2016 study also in­di­cated that fish­ing gear, bal­loons and plas­tic bags were con­sid­ered the big­gest en­tan­gle­ment threat to marine life.

With plas­tic items mak­ing up ap­prox­i­mately three­quar­ters of the rub­bish along Aus­tralia’s coast, there are groups and in­di­vid­u­als work- ing hard to im­prove the sit­u­a­tion on beaches, groups such as the Foun­da­tion for Na­tional Parks and Wildlife who, along with oth­ers, or­gan­ise ocean clean-up projects and com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams. In­di­vid­u­als who use their lo­cal beach reg­u­larly for ex­er­cise, dog walk­ing or re­lax­ation tend to be in­vested in keep­ing it clean and free of man-made de­bris, although things are never black and white.

Beach users (with or with­out dogs) in­evitably dis­turb for­ag­ing sea birds.

At the same time, walk­ers pick­ing up de­bris are re­duc­ing the risk to sea birds of en­tan­gle­ment, in­ges­tion, in­fec­tion or suf­fo­ca­tion.

Our coast­line is vast, and re­mote coastal strips and off­shore is­lands can of­fer qui­eter and safer nest­ing spots for bird species. How­ever, plas­tics re­main a threat on shore and un­der the waves.

Join the walk­ers and oth­ers who reg­u­larly pick up man­made de­bris off our beaches.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit Ref­er­ences:

DAN­GER ZONE: A tur­tle swims past a plas­tic bag. Rub­bish from hu­mans poses threats to all kinds of sea crea­tures.

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