Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Oceans Choking in Plastic Waste

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Oceans Choking in Plastic Waste

Article excerpt

Byline: Ian Darbyshire

THE saying that "there are plenty more fish in the sea" is no longer ringing true.

Unsustainable fishing, climate change and marine debris are contributing to the disappearance of Australian aquatic life at an alarming rate.

Within the past 40 years, half of the world's marine life has disappeared.

About three-quarters of the rubbish along the Australian coast is plastic. Most is from Australian sources, with debris concentrated near urban centres.

In coastal and offshore waters, most of the floating debris is plastic, with the density ranging from a few thousand pieces per square kilometre to more than 40,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometre.

During a time when so many Australians embrace sea, sun and sand, the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife (FNPW) has launched a public appeal to support efforts dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris.

As the quantity of debris increases in the marine environment, so does the likelihood of impacts to marine animals.

Plastic production rates are intensifying and the volume of rubbish humans release into marine systems is growing at an exponential rate.

Even toothpaste and personal care products can have plastic microbeads in them, which can be mistakenly eaten by a range of marine species.

Plastic pollution has already affected at least 267 species worldwide, with some estimates suggesting at least one million marine animals are killed each year from plastic pollution.

These fatalities are a result of ingestion, starvation, suffocation, infection, drowning and entanglement.

The ocean is such a beautiful and vast ecosystem but it's fragile, its inhabitants are in danger and if we don't do something now there won't be anything left for future generations.

By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. …

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