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Ocean Garbage – Just How Bad?

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Garbage piles the sizes of Texas have been found floating in the Pacific Ocean.  Similar floating piles of human debris have been recently sited in the Atlantic Ocean. Our oceans have been the easiest place for people to dump their garbage without worrying about local law enforcement.  Cruise liners and freighters are the main culprit, but many countries along the ocean’s edges have also allowed waste to be dumped into them as well.  To drive home the point as to just how bad our oceans have become, take into consideration a recent news item regarding a beached gray whale that died after getting stranded on a West Seattle beach.  The biologists who examined the gray whale said that it had a large amount of garbage in its stomach.  The garbage found ranged from a pair of sweat pants, golf ball, twenty plastic bags, small towels, duct tape, and surgical gloves.  The gray whale that had beached itself and died was 37 feet long.  Normally gray whales have algae in their gut, typical of these bottom- feeding mammals.  We’ve all seen pictures in the past of mammals that become tangled in our garbage, and either suffocates or are unable to feed themselves and die from starvation.  It just seems that we humans perhaps feel that the vastness of our oceans can hide a lot of our waste, and that no one will notice.  But, the fact is that our oceans notice, and the fish we depend on for sustenance are at risk from the waste we put into our oceans.  The time has past for credible maritime laws to be put into effect regarding dumping garbage into the oceans.  Every seafaring country needs to sign an agreement to ban the dumping of garbage into our waterways.  They should follow the old camping adage of “Leave No Trace.”

Photo: Beached Gray Whale

4 COMMENTS

  1. i agree that there should be no garbage because i think that it will efect the invorment someday and it already has. i love animals and to see them die because of some stupid garbage its just sad.

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