How do we protect whales and other marine animals from plastic in the ocean? Our new Review Shows that reduce plastic pollution can prevent the deaths of beloved marine species. More than 700 marine speciesIncluding, half of the world’s Cetaceans (such as whales and dolphins), all its sea turtles and a third of its sea birds, are known to ingest plastic.
When animals eat plastic, it can block their digestive system, leading to a long, slow death from starvation. Sharp pieces of plastic can also pierce the intestinal wall, causing infection and sometimes death. as little as A piece of plastic can kill an animal.
About eight million tons of plastic enters the ocean every year, So solving the problem may seem overwhelming. How do we reduce the damage to whales and other marine animals with that plastic?
As the hospital is filled with patients, we maneuver. By identifying objects that are lethal to the most vulnerable species, we can implement solutions that target these most lethal objects.
Some plastics are deadly than others
In 2016, experts identified four main items they consider to be the deadliest to wildlife: Fishing debris, plastic bags, balloons and plastic utensils.
We tested these expert predictions by assessing data from 76 published research papers involving 1,328 marine animals (132 cetaceans, 20 seals and sea lions, 515 sea turtles, and 658 seabirds) out of 80 species.
We examined which items caused the most deaths in each group, and also the “lethality” (how many deaths per interaction) of each item. We found that experts got it right for three out of four items.
Flexible plastics, such as plastic sheets, bags, and packaging, can cause intestinal obstruction and were responsible for the largest number of deaths among all animal groups. These film plastics accounted for the most deaths among the Sitasis and sea turtles. Fishing debris, such as nets, lines, and tackle, became fatal causes in large animals, especially seals and sea lions.
Turtle-eating whales and whales may have difficulty swimming, increasing the risk of shipwrecks or boats breaking. In contrast, seals and sea lions do not eat much plastic, but can die from eating fishing debris.
Meanwhile, balloons, ropes and rubber were deadly to small creatures. And hard plastics caused the most deaths among seabirds. Rubber, fishing debris, metal, and latex (including balloons) were the deadliest for birds, with the highest chance of death per recorded bribe.
What is the solution for this?
The most efficient way to reduce marine megafuna deaths from plastic ingestion is to target the deadliest objects and prioritize their reduction in the environment.
It is also smart to target large plastic items, as they can break into smaller pieces. Small debris fragments such as microplastics and fibers are a low management priority, as they cause significantly fewer deaths for megafuna and are more difficult to manage.
Ranked among flexible films such as plastics, including plastic bags and packaging Ten most common items In the survey of marine debris globally. Plastic bag restrictions and charges for bags have already been shown to reduce litter bags in the environment. Improving local disposal and engineering solutions to enable recycling and improving the life span of plastics can also help reduce waste.
Lost fishing gear is particularly deadly. The fish are High gear loss rate: 5.7% of all net and 29% of all lines Are lost annually In commercial fisheries. The introduction of minimum standards of damage resistant or high quality gears can reduce losses.
Other steps, including, may also help
- Encouraging gear repair and port disposal of damaged nets
- Punishing or preventing high-risk fishing activities where there is a possibility of loss of snails or gear
- And imposing penalties related to dumping.
Recreational fishermen may also have the benefits of outreach and education to highlight the harmful effects of fishing gear.
Balloons, latex and rubber are rare in marine environments, but are Uncommonly fatalEspecially sea turtles and seabirds. Changes in law and public will will be required to prevent intentional balloon releases and accidental releases during events and ceremonies.
Combination of Policy change with behavior change campaigns Considered most effective for reducing coastal litter throughout Australia.
Reducing film entering the atmosphere such as plastics, fishing debris and latex / balloons would be the best result in directly reducing the mortality rate of marine megafuna.
By this article Lauren Roman, Postdoctoral researcher, oceans and atmosphere, CSIRO; Britta Dennis Hardness, Chief research scientist, oceans and atmosphere flagship, CSIRO; Chris Wilcox, Senior Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO, And Qamar Schuyler, Research scientists, oceans and atmospheres, CSIRO Republished from chit chat Under a Creative Commons license. read the Original article.