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originally posted by: radarloveguy
"After we left Japan, it felt as if the ocean itself was dead,"
"We hardly saw any living things. We saw one whale, sort of
rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big
tumour on its head. It was pretty sickening.
"I've done a lot of miles on the ocean in my life and I'm used
to seeing turtles, dolphins, sharks and big flurries of feeding
birds. But this time, for 3000 nautical miles there was nothing
alive to be seen."
DAVIS, California -- Roughly a quarter of the fish sampled
from fish markets in California and Indonesia contained
man-made debris — plastic or fibrous material — in their
guts, according to a study from the University of California,
Davis, and Hasanuddin University in Indonesia."Indonesia has
some of the highest marine life richness and biodiversity on
Earth, and its coastal regions — mangroves, coral reefs and
their beaches — are just awash in debris," said co-author
Susan Williams, a professor with the UC Davis Bodega Marine
Laboratory who has worked on projects in Indonesia for the
past several years. "You have the best and the worst
situation right in front of you in Indonesia."
Meanwhile, the U.S. has highly advanced systems for
collecting and recycling plastics. However, most
Californians wash their clothing in washing machines,
the water from which empties into more than 200
wastewater treatment plants offshore California.
The authors theorize that fibers remaining in sewage
effluent from washing machines were ingested by fish
sampled in the state.
The world produces an estimated 10 tons of plastic
a second, and between 5 million and 14 million tons
sweep into the oceans every year. Some of that debris
washes up on beaches, even on the world’s most isolated
islands. About 5 trillion pieces currently float in surface
waters, mostly in the form of tiny, easy-to-swallow
fragments that have ended up in the gut of albatrosses,
sea turtles, plankton, fish, and whales. But those pieces
also sink, snowing into the deep sea and upon the
amphipods that live there.
Brooks eventually found plastic fibers and fragments in
72 percent of the amphipods that the team collected,
from all six trenches that they had surveyed. In the least
polluted of these sites, half of the amphipods had
swallowed at least one piece of plastic.
In the 6.8-mile-deep Mariana Trench, the lowest point
in any ocean, ALL of the specimens had plastic in their gut.