Plastic Pollution: The Global Ocean

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What is an ocean? An ocean is a large body of salt water that covers approximately three-quarters of Earth’s surface. The global ocean is also divided into five divisions which are Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arctic Ocean and Southern Ocean. The global ocean is home to thousands of aquatic species like fish, turtles, whales and coral reefs. As the main component of Earth, the global ocean is significant to all living organisms because the ocean is the source of water apart from having an important role in carbon cycle and nitrogen cycle. However, in this era of rapid industrialisation and globalisation, the pollution of the global ocean has become the major worldwide issue of discussion. Even a former French naval officer and…show more content…
Based on Marine Pollution Bulletin 2002 written by Jose G.B. Derraik, 267 species, including invertebrates, fish, turtles, seabirds and mammals had been reported to be entangled in plastic debris like derelict fishing nets and plastic bags. When the plastics entangle the animals, they will end up suffocating and drowning. Entanglement in plastics will restrict the movement of animals to catch for foods which may result in starvation. The plastics will also cut into their flesh if they grow in size while being entangled in derelict nets or circular plastic packaging. When animals are entangled in plastics, they require a lot of energy to move around in the water and as a result, they are easily getting tired which can cause their health quality to reduce. Sooner or later, entanglement in plastics can be fatal. When plastic debris snag on coral reefs or drag along the seabed, the plastics will harm the coral reefs. Therefore, entanglement in plastic poses a threat to the aquatic animals and also coral…show more content…
They just eat whatever that looks like their food. For example, sea turtles are always becoming the victim of eating plastics. We know that sea turtles eat jellyfish but they often become a victim to mistaking plastic shopping bags as their food. As a result, sea turtles will consume the plastic bags, choking them and obstructing the passage of the food in their stomach which will lead to death due to starvation or infection. In a long-term, ingestion of plastics can suppress the immune system and cause hormonal disruption. Marine plastic pollution not only affects marine animals but also seabirds. Seabirds like albatross are always mistaking plastics floating on the ocean as prey. Some of the seabirds parents will also scoop up the floating plastic debris on the ocean to feed their nestlings, mistaking them for food. Sadly, since seabird chicks are unable to regurgitate foods like their parents, they are the most vulnerable to plastic

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