How is Pollution Killing Our Beloved Marine Life

Photo Courtesy of Sandpaper Staff

Aaliyah Young, Sandpaper Writer

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On May 28, 2018, a Pilot Whale was discovered in the oceans of Thailand with 8 kgs (17 pounds) of plastic found in its stomach, the whale subsequently died after choking up about five plastic bags.

Whales are not the only victims dying from our pollution crisis, many other animals such as Fish, Sharks, Seals, Manatees, even Penguins, are dying every second because of the loads of plastic we dump into our Oceans. Over many years, the pollution of plastic has made a drastic decrease of our marine life.

In the article “Dead Whale Found in Thailand with 17 Pounds of Plastic in its Stomach” written by NBC News, it was said “… 8 million tons of plastic…. are dumped into the ocean every year killing marine life and entering the human food chains…”.

Not only are we killing our source of food, but we are contaminating their bodies, which we then consume. We are hurting nature each time we let go of a plastic bag, or bottles on the beach, or even our straws; they all end up in one place and it is not healthy.

As millions of plastic enter the ocean , the ocean current moves the plastic and breaks it down into smaller pieces- which becomes easier to confuse as food for the animals and become easier to consume.

Eating the plastic is not the only way we kill animals, plastic entanglement has became a major problem too, according to the Plastic Crusaders, “100,000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement…. Approximately 1 million seabirds aslo die from plastic.” Plastic bags, bottles, straws, soda holders, trash bags, plastic toys, etc, are the things killing our animals.

What are we doing to stop our pollution crisis? There are many organizations that were formed in order to clean up the shores and the reachable places that contained heavy amounts of debris. Groups such as Surfrider Foundation, Oceana, The Blu, 5 Gyres, and Take 3, dedicate their lives to making sure the marine life have a better chance of living. Even colleges such as Pepperdine University and University of Santa Barbara have organizations that try to help out the ocean by cleaning around so the plastic doesn’t spread. We are off to a very good start.