Posted by admin | 01.03.2020 | Conservation, Marine Science, Sea Turtle Camp, Sea Turtle Camp News, Turtle Talk

The Pollution Problem

Almost 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year, endangering marine life and, if it enters the food chain, endangering humans too.

The plastic accumulating in our oceans is becoming a global crisis.

Based on the “Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans” study, there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans, enough to circulate our equator 425 times.  The plastic industry tells us the only solution is through outside, after-the-fact efforts — recycling, incineration, responsible personal waste management, but scientists and conservationist say otherwise. We must prevent or reduce the problem from the source along with personal choices!

Researchers say that most of the plastic they find are small confetti-sized shreds. These micro-plastics are either broken-up bits of larger plastic items, or small pieces like facial scrub micro beads. Plastic never truly leaves our environment, it only photo-degrades (broken down by the sun) into these smaller pieces affecting millions of animals and humans worldwide. Most of these micro-plastics are so small you can’t really tell what they are or where they came from. These particles can be the size of fish food, or smaller, and are easily eaten by animals and moved through the food chain. Another large part of the pollution and plastic problem are abandoned fishing nets. These can also be called derelict nets and are lost or broken out at sea, resulting in miles and miles of dangerous nets that continue to trap animals. Some of these nets still have hooks on them, but most either entangle animals to where they can never get out, or are ingested, getting caught in the esophagus and stomach.  The plastics leech toxic material – poisoning the animal, or don’t allow them to eat properly.

These issues are affecting the fish, fishermen, and the general public worldwide. We must all work together – citizens, law-makers, fishermen, and large companies to create better solutions for these issues.

Sea Turtle Camp is aware of the pollution that affects our oceans. One of our goals is educate our campers by showing them what they can do to help our oceans and the place sea turtles call home. We teach campers how to do beach sweeps and how to properly identify and dispose of pollution found on the beach or ocean. More importantly, we will teach them how to avoid it getting there in the first place. Every small step counts- in education, conservation, and eventually action.