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317 bits of plastic found in sea dead turtle..

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posted on Jul, 2 2011 @ 10:38 PM

Originally posted by hqokc
The Pacific is just a big toilet bowl of plastic bits. The little clear balls that are the pre-processed plastic look like fish eggs and lots of sea critters eat them, and sea birds too. This is not unusual.
I know what you're talking about, in fact I was looking for those on the table in the OP photo and expected to see some, but I couldn't find any. That surprised me a little, did it surprise you?

posted on Jul, 2 2011 @ 10:59 PM
Yes, I expected to see them too but the larger turtles may be able to pass them easier than say, a sea gull. There were just a few small plastic bits on the table pic, most were larger, so my guess (and it's just a guess) is that the smaller pieces passed through it's digestive system.
I feel very strongly about littering. All that trash washes from the streeets to the rivers to the oceans.

posted on Jul, 2 2011 @ 11:05 PM
This is just awful, and a few minutes on Google shows that this is not a new or insignificant problem, it's serious. The culprits are just who you might expect- litterers. I am so sick and tired of people leaving their crap all over the place. We went to watch fireworks this evening and as we were leaving my 8-year-old son asked why there was so much trash on the side of the road. It was from the many losers who decided to enjoy some nice snacks and drinks while watching the show and then leave every single piece of trash behind when they depart. These scumbags can't even spend an hour at the park without totally trashing the place. I guess they think there are fairies that come out at night that exist to clean up their trash. Well much of that trash finds its ways into the stormwater system which eventually dumps into waterways and then on to larger bodies of water and this is EXACTLY how it all ends up in the oceans. Sea turtles mistake the undulating plastic bags for their normal food (jellyfish) and eat them. When they eat enough it clogs their digestive system and they die. It's not just turtles though, fish and porpoises also die from it and birds get tangled up in it and die.

Here in Texas we suffer drought conditions almost every year, but it is absolutely stunning how often you'll see some moron throw their lit cigarette butt out the window. Many of these butts blow over to the shoulder and start fires. So because someone feels it's too big of an inconvenience to have an ashtray in their car, our fire departments have to run around putting these fires out all summer long. People are disgraceful scum. Not all, but the 50% that are will eventually ruin the world for the rest of us if something isn't done to bring these idiots under control. Personally I do not tolerate any form of littering in my family. Not one toothpick is left on the ground. I've dropped a receipt and had it blow across the parking lot and I ran it down rather than leave it to litter the landscape. But people like me are in the minority.

Back on the sea turtles, here's a related article from The Sea Turtle Foundation:

Marine debris consists of any piece of rubbish thrown, blown or dumped into the ocean. Items of rubbish dropped on streets and parks many kilometres from the shore will end up the ocean by moving down stormwater drains into creeks, streams and rivers.

Globally 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles, and 1 million sea birds die every year from ingesting or becoming entangled in marine debris.

Plastics are the worst offenders. Due to the long periods of time required to break down, (plastics never decompose, they just break down into smaller pieces that are more easily mistaken for food) plastics become serial killers, killing many animals over many hundreds of years.

Plastic bags kill many sea turtles who mistake their pale colours and gently undulating form for the jellyfish that they feed on. Once ingested plastics can choke the animal or, if it blocks the stomach, cause it to starve to death.

A look at the numbers reveals the extent of the problem. Australians use almost 4 billion plastic shopping bags – and drop 50 million of them as litter – every year. Additionally 1000s more are blown from landfill sites into waterways and the ocean.

Sea Turtle Foundation is calling for a ban on free plastic bags, read more here (follow link above).

Hatchlings have been found with small pieces of polystyrene in their stomachs, having mistaken them for food. Sea turtles also become entangled in larger discarded items such as tyres and plastic containers.

posted on Jul, 2 2011 @ 11:16 PM

Originally posted by jam321
Let's not forget that event like hurricanes, flooding, and tsunamis etc. also contribute to polluting our waters.

For the second time in a month, flood waters and trash from the city's landfill in Nanakuli were discharged into the ocean along Oahu's Leeward Coast Wednesday night.

Scientists say a massive trash plume generated by Japan's tsunami is floating across the northern Pacific Ocean and heading east for Hawaii.

Ocean of Rubbish

I wonder how many garbage barges are dumped at sea. Do a Google search for garbage dumped at sea. I got too many hits to post.

posted on Jul, 2 2011 @ 11:56 PM
So sad that innocent creatures have to die because of us.

posted on Jul, 2 2011 @ 11:58 PM
Reply to post by Misterlondon

Whatever happened to survival of the fittest?

Shouldn't we just sit back and let nature do it's work?

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posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 03:44 AM

Originally posted by Arbitrageur
That will happen eventually, say when oil gets to $2000 a barrel, that stuff floating on the ocean will be quite valuable. with oil at only $100 a barrel, it's too cheap to incentivize anyone to recover that mess for economic reasons.

This is really sad, those plastic bag bits can just line the digestive tract and then no food can be absorbed, and the turtle will starve even with a full stomach.

Maybe through the process of "unnatural selection" (because the pollution is manmade) some turtles will eat less plastic, and survive to breed, whereas turtles that eat plastic indiscriminately will die off and breed less. Eventually, we' could have a new breed of "superturtles" who can recognize plastic and have the genes that makes them less likely to eat it. If that doesn't happen, a lot more turtles will die because there will surely be a plentiful supply of plastic in the ocean if they are willing to indiscriminately eat it. I also wonder, can't they do what some other animals do? Namely, get the food in their mouth, taste it, and decide whether to swallow it or spit it out? That plastic can't taste much like food, can it? Or maybe sea turtles don't have a sense of taste? page 2 of pdf, 146 of paper:

Taste buds are present but are poorly characterized

I'm not sure exactly what that means. Does it mean we don't know much about them? Or that they are present but don't work too well?

They better evolve a better sense of taste fast or some other means of distinguishing inedible plastic, or they may not survive. I would suggest man stop polluting, but we all know that isn't going to happen. We can reduce pollution, but I suspect a lot of pollution in the Pacific is coming from third world countries. I have seen some plastic pollution flowing into the ocean on the west coast of the US, but I don't think it's nearly enough to account for those big garbage pools in the pacific.

I truly enjoy a well thought out post such as this one. Thanks Arbitrageur. I liked the thought process and links.

The facts are the facts, we've polluted this planet pretty extensively by now. I just don't think people consciously thought that by using plastics and the subsequent disposal of plastics would have ultimately led to this dead turtle (of all the thousands of other living things killed by our "chemistry.") I hope this turtle becomes a symbol for us to wake up to the problem. But what happens next? We ban plastic, replace it with what? some new technology which will, in all probability, have some unforseen negative consequences years from now.

We made this mess, we can clean it up, but we will make another mess again in the name of progress and we'll clean that one up too. It's not pretty, or perfect, but its our pattern. The alternative would be to use no man made products unless they are made from components that have not been altered from their natural chemistry/structure, or which cannot be ultimately returned back to their naturally occuring state. I don't think Polyvinylchloride can ever be returned competely back into naturally occuring, non synthetic compounds.

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