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UN Report shows Oceans Are Choking Under Pollution

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posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 08:46 AM
The UN has just come out with a report on how the oceans are choking with pollution. This goes in hand with an article I found last week on how Jellyfish are taking over the oceans due to the fish dying off.

First the UN report says our oceans per 1 square kilometer has over 46000 pieces of plastic in it. 95% of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs.

According to earlier findings by UNEP, 6.4 million tons of waste are disposed of at sea every year. Every square kilometre of sea has an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it.

Most of that waste is produced by international shipping. Instead of paying to dispose of their waste in harbours, many captains decide to have their ship's garbage simply thrown overboard while at sea.

Shipping as a source of marine pollution is followed by domestic and industrial waste that is washed into the oceans down rivers and then spread around the globe by currents and the wind.

I know when I lived on a sailboat in the Caribbean we knew never to throw any plastic or dump any thrash into the ocean. Fish eat the bags thinking they are jellyfish. I also know how cruise ships do dump their thrash when they are at sea, so they don't have the expense in port to have it hauled away. (that part is not in this article - but I know they do it, from people who have worked on cruise ships)

"The oceans are our life support systems," says Ocean Conservancy president Vikki Spruill. "They supply much of the oxygen we breath, the food we eat and regulate the climate we need to survive. But marine pollution continues to pose a threat to our health."

The report highlights the plight of sea turtles who often confuse plastic bags with jellyfish, one of their main sources of food. Many sea turtles die from consuming plastic bags.

A five-year study of Arctic Fulmar seabirds in the North Sea found 95 per cent had pieces of plastic in their stomachs.

information about jellyfish article and how they are taking over the oceans.

"Jellyfish Threaten to Dominate Oceans"

Giant jellyfish are taking over parts of the world's oceans due to overfishing and other human activities, researchers say.

Nomura jellyfish are the biggest in the world and can grow as big as a sumo wrestler. They weigh up to 200 kilograms and can reach 2 metres in diameter.

Dr Anthony Richardson and his colleagues from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research says jellyfish numbers are increasing, particularly in South East Asia, the Black Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea.



Jellyfish are normally kept in check by fish, which eat small jellyfish and compete for jellyfish food such as zooplankton, he says.

But with overfishing, jellyfish numbers are increasing. Jellyfish feed on fish eggs and larvae, further impacting on fish numbers.

To add insult to injury, nitrogen and phosphorous in run-off cause red phytoplankton blooms, which create low-oxygen dead zones where jellyfish survive, but fish cannot.

"You can think of them like a protected area for jellyfish," Dr Richardson says.

The researchers say climate change may also encourage more jellyfish and they have postulated for the first time that these conditions can lead to what they call a "jellyfish stable state", in which jellyfish rule the oceans.

The team recommends a number of actions in its paper, published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution and released to coincide with World Oceans Day.

They say it is important to reduce overfishing, especially of small pelagic fish like sardines, and to reduce run-off.

They also say it is important to control the transport of jellyfish around the world in ballast water and aquariums.

Jellyfish are considered simple jelly-like sea animals, which are related to the microscopic animals that form coral.

They generally start their life as a plant-like polyp on the sea bed before budding off into the well-known bell-shaped medusa.

Jellyfish have tentacles containing pneumatocyst cells, which act like little harpoons that lodge in prey to sting and kill them.

The location and number of pneumatocysts dictate whether jellyfish are processed for human consumption.

While dried jellyfish with soya sauce is a delicacy served in Chinese weddings and banquets, not all kinds of jellyfish can be eaten, Dr Richardson says.

According to Dr Richardson, the species increasing in number are not generally eaten.

So in conclusion, it seems we are dumping our trash in the oceans which are killing the fish and bird life, besides we are over fishing the oceans too, which are causing jellyfish to take over. The ocean are also heating up and last year there was a science article about how the coral reefs in the Caribbean are dying due to the warm water.

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 08:49 AM

We are KILLIG the planet!!! Run!!! We are so bad!!! The Planet is DYING!! It's OUR FAULT!!!!!!

I feel that we need to start killing the human population so that we can some how make up for the torture.

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 10:11 AM
Unfortunately, it is most likely that any recommendations will go largely unheeded and any that do get put into place will still be ignored by shipping companies. I'm guessing any legislation put into place will be impractical to enforce due to the vastness of the oceans.

As ever, a case of too little too late...

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 10:22 AM
reply to post by questioningall

What you say is true, but there are two problems that will keep us from doing anything about it:

1. you show a picture of the large jellyfish "school". But we don't see images of trash like that. We hear about the "Texas sized trash heap" in the ocean, but no images of it. Until people see it, it is heresay.

2. The "Global warming" farce has taken all the steam out of truly positive environmental impacts that people could work towards.

Nice post. Kudo's.

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 10:24 AM
These are just statistics designed to scare the masses. Nothing more, nothing less. The plastic they found was all probably found along the shorelines or in a few isolated spots.

BTW, it is the UN, do they ever speak the truth?

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 10:28 AM
I'm going to venture a little off topic and try to come up with a brighter side to all of this.

Since mammals took over from the reptiles, and now it looks like mammals (particularly Homo-Sapiens) are now in danger of becoming extinct, maybe nature will elevate Jelly's to the dominant species on the planet.. Just think large scale Jellyfish cities and the like.

It's always a possibility in nature if you go by the thought that the strongest species will survive.

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 04:59 PM
reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan

Here are some images of trash for you. In fact of trash on a Texas beach.

Also a link to an article about Cruise ships dumping their trash:



posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 05:10 PM
I wish the US would do a calen up.....which would be endless of course..
as long as humans purchase or use anyting in plastic bottles, thier carelessness will mislpace the empty containers. I work for a pharmacy, near a beach, and lemme tell you...its near an upper class city(greenwich CT).. During a hot summer summer day, we have a HUGE garbage can, like a 60 gallon is always overflowing onto the groudn with bottles, paper, unfinished food... and less than 20 feet away, is the citys recycling containers, 13 gallon size(typical garbage bag size)..and IF yuor lucky, you'll find 6 or 7 bottles/cans in them. Apparently, where i work, people are that lazy, they choose to just drop bottels in a garbage can. Sometimes, i admitt, if i step out for a smoke, i tke as many plastics andbottles and drop them in the recycyling bin, to minimize the harbage oveflow...ive actually had other poelpe looking at me like i was crazy or something!

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 05:13 PM
reply to post by The Killah29

Nope. The trash is found blanketing a huge area in the North Pacific. Far from any land masses.

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 05:16 PM
As for me personally, ever since a recycling program was set up, 1990, ive been a huge fan of it. Even to this day..i take paper off of food cans, newspapers, junk mail and white out personal info, even the envelopes, and put them in a trash bag, so when it fills up, i take it too the local recycling center, as they have containers for paper. My thought pattern, is im helping to save the cut down of trees, aka our oxygen supply), hurt corporation buisness...but is suspect its all being turned into toilet paper. I even recycyle magazines, and paper towel cardboard! Usualy once a year, i will have a 30 gallon trash bag PACKED full of paper and magazines. Makes me think, damn, if i collect and generate that much waste paper in a year, imagine everyone else!
I also keep thinkgs like metal lids off of cat food cans, food coantinrs, in a small garbage container, and when it fills..i take to recycling center and dump in the metal container. I sve plastic bags, engine coolant too,..once a year in my city, tey have a chemical pickup program at a school..yuor bring yuor store bags, chemcials their for disposal. Imagine, if everyone else did it...thiers a good chane the oceans wouldnt be in such a mess..

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 05:27 PM
Nope, not just statistics etc...

posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 07:14 PM
The fact people use the sea as a dumping ground then turn around and go to the beach shows the ignorance of most human beings. I can't believe how bloody fkn stupid people are. The ocean is one body. You're making the ocean sewage and swimming in it. I hate people. I JUST hate people. Everything is about money with people, everything,...and convenience. The fact ships throw their waste off board truely goddamn sickens me. I never knew that was how the oceans are so polluted. I often wondered how that much litter could get there. The more I learn about whats happening to the ocean and how it's happening, the more angry I get. Why can't we find ways to live in an ecologically sustainable way? Without plastic or toxins or mass farms or anything else just living in small hunter gatherer societies and live in a beautiful clean world with crystal clear waters and an abundance of species and plants to add beauty and color to life? Why does it have to be like this is? there any way out?

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