HomeEnvironmentalismHelp turn the tide on deadly marine debris Paddy May 2, 2018 Environmentalism, Oceania If we don’t act soon, by 2050 there’ll be more plastic in our oceans than fish.* One million marine animals die each year due to marine debris. For many reasons, marine life is fast disappearing due to unsustainable over-fishing, climate change and in particular, marine debris. When we think of our vast oceans, teaming with life, we’re actually suffering an illusion of abundance. It’s no longer true that ‘there are plenty more fish in the sea’. For many reasons, marine life is fast disappearing – unsustainable over fishing… climate change… and in particular, the focus of this message, marine debris. Those startling facts and many more like them are why, at this time of year when so many Australians embrace sun, sea and sand, the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is desperately fighting for our marine environment. Marine Parks have been established right around Australia. These areas are similar to national parks on land and form part of their mission to protect all Australian ecosystems and native species for generations to come. So this summer, we’re asking you to support important initiatives like: • Ocean clean-up projects. • Education Programs to let people know what they can do to avoid further polluting the oceans. • Research to better inform interventions. • Purchasing more equipment to improve the success rate of locating and rescuing marine mammals. Funds raised via this appeal will support Australian organisations dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris, such as the Australian Marine Debris Initiative. To date, this project has helped clean beaches and waterways at over 2,132 sites around Australia, removing over 705 tonnes of rubbish. The ocean connects us all and our fate as a species is intrinsically entwined with the fate of the ocean itself. It’s up to us to support the Australian organisations and communities doing such an incredible job of improving the situation locally. A garbage truck-full of pollutants hits our ocean every minute. All sorts of rubbish ends up in our ocean… roughly the contents of one garbage truck-full every single minute! In fact, the average concentration of plastic and micro-plastic in Australian waters is 9,000 pieces per square kilometre. Plastic pollution alone has already impacted at least 267 species worldwide, including 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species and 43% of all marine mammals. The impacts include fatalities as a result of ingestion, starvation, suffocation, infection, drowning and entanglement. Sea Turtles confuse floating plastic bags with jellyfish – their favourite food. Seals, Turtles, Whales, Dolphins and Dugongs all get hopelessly entangled in floating nets discarded by commercial fishing operations. These so called ‘Ghost Nets’ float to Australia from far away seas, leaving dead and maimed animals in their wake. Globally, approximately one third of marine turtles have likely ingested debris. Marine Life all get hopelessly entangled in floating nets discarded by commercial fishing operations. Sea Birds dive for plastic they’ve mistaken for fish, then commonly feed these ‘treats’ to their young, unknowingly killing their own offspring. CSIRO predicts that plastics ingestion in sea birds may reach 95% of all species by 2050. Endangered Sharks like the Grey Nurse and Whale Shark often mistake marine debris for potential food or unwittingly scoop up plastic while feeding… and all sorts of other fish that force water through their gills in order to breathe are increasingly at risk from microscopic plastic debris. Plastic was only invented at the start of the 20th Century… and a hundred years later, every piece of plastic ever made remains in existence. Worse, 50% of all plastic manufactured is used only once. The strength and durability that are this wonder product’s benefit are also the very characteristics that make it so deadly. It breaks down so slowly that eventually, it simply becomes microscopic, entering the food chain at the lowest level, then travels all the way through to the top. This has to stop before that 2050 dire prediction is proven correct! Help turn the tide NOW! One million innocent marine animals currently die each year due to marine debris. They need our help to survive a crisis hidden beneath the waves and YOU can be part of the solution to marine debris. Donate today by going to: fnpw.org.au/donate *From a study submitted to the World Economic Forum in January 2016. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.