Marine Litter – The Black Peril of The Sea

This article discusses the three key impacts of marine litter on wildlife and highlights potential solutions to the problems.

What can society do to decrease the damage on wildlife from marine litter? Prevention is the key [24]! Society should continue in its effort to reduce the amount of waste produced and attempt to reuse and recycle existing items where possible. Furthermore, by supporting beach clean-up events and other environmental debris removal methods, it is hoped that society will be able to assist conservationists in ‘turning the tide on marine litter’ [2]. Because of the cost, impracticalities and time-consuming nature of removing floating debris, there is an urgent need to promote prevention!

References

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 10  Tomás J, Guitart R, Mateo R, Raga JA. Marine debris ingestion in loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, from the Western Mediterranean. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2002. 44:211-216.

 11 Fry MD, Fefer SI, Sileo L. Ingestion of plastic debris by Laysan Albatrosses and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters in the Hawaiian Islands. Marine Pollution Bulletin. Jun 1987. 18:339-343.

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 14 Mauger G, Kerleau F, Robin JP, Dubois B, De JF. Marine debris obstructing stomach of a young minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) stranded in Normandy, France. 8th American Cetacean Society. International conference (Poster) 2002.

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 19 Gregory MR. Environmental implications of plastic debris in marine settings – entanglement, ingestion, smothering, hangers-on, hitch-hiking and alien invasions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2009. 364:2013-2025. 

20 Barnes DKA, Galgani F, Thompson RC, Barlaz M. Accumulation and fragmentation of plastic debris in global environments. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2009. 364:1985-1998.

21 Barnes DKA. Biodiversity: Invasions by marine life on plastic debris. Nature. 2002. 416:808-809.

22 Debris collection onsite after Bay Bridge struck [Online]. [Cited 2010 Oct 24]. Available from: URL: http://www.spn.usace.army.mil/newsrelease/newsrelease_11_07_07.html

23 Coral Reef Protection through Marine Debris Removal at Reserva Marina Tres Palmas [Online].  [Cited 2010 Oct 24].  Available from: URL: http://trespalmascoral.blogspot.com/2008/09/coral-reef-protection-through-marine.html

24 Jeftic L, Sheavly S, Adler E.  Marine Litter: a global challenge. United Nations Environment Programme. 2009

25 International Maritime Organisation [Online]. [Cited 2010 Nov 19]. Available from: URL: http://www.imo.org/About/Conventions/ListOfConventions/Pages/International-Convention-for-the-Prevention-of-Pollution-from-Ships-(MARPOL).aspx

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