Plastic Kills Whales in Large Numbers; Immediate Action Need of the Hour

February 7, 2012 / No Comments

Plastic pollution is becoming a huge problem in the world’s oceans. As per the Ocean Conservancy’s 2008 International Coastal Cleanup, a total of 11,439,086 items of debris were collected worldwide. Microplastics used as exfoliators in many facial cleansers are thought to pose a high risk to the marine environment.

whaledead Plastic Kills Whales in Large Numbers; Immediate Action Need of the Hour

Their tiny size means they pass through wastewater treatment facilities and end up in the ocean. They are ingested by plankton and then passed up the food chain and eventually end up in higher organisms such as marine mammals – especially the whales. Their persistence in the environment means they could have a marked effect on marine life in the future.

We are now seeing more animals washing up on our beaches with their stomachs full of plastic. When they swallow so much plastic debris, indigestion happens and therefore death occurs. An estimated 100,000 whales, dolphin, turtles and seals die each year from the consumption of plastics.

It is probably a common concept that marine debris consists of just a few pieces of rubbish scattered along the strand line of beaches and is of no harm to anyone. Unfortunately this is not the case.

Marine debris has become a pervasive pollution problem affecting all of the world’s oceans. It is known to be the cause of injuries and deaths of numerous marine animals and birds, either because they become entangled in it or they mistake it for prey and eat it.

Plastic and synthetic materials are the most common types of marine debris and cause the most problems for marine animals and birds. At least 267 different species are known to have suffered from entanglement or ingestion of marine debris including seabirds, turtles, seals, sea lions, whales and fish.

Though whales are massive, they are the species nearest to extinction and there should be actions taken by authorities to seal this slaughtering at the earliest. What do you have to say about this?