Do you remember the whole craze about discontinuing the use of plastic straws and how that was such a big deal? The truth is plastic straws represent 0.025% of the 80 million tons of plastic waste in the world’s oceans. What is causing most of the pollution in the oceans? Over 46% of the the problem is fishing nets. These nets are designed to capture and kill fish which they are doing, over 650,000 marine life animals die from the nets every year. Longline fishing set enough fishing lines to wrap around the entire planet 500 times every single day. Another big part of the problem is Microplastics. Microplastics are extremely small shards of other broken down plastics. These are very dangerous to us humans, animals and the environment. Many microplastics are found in sea creatures we eat. They are also found in the water we drink, shower, play with, and more. The sea animals tend to digest these microplastics which are very harmful for them and their organs, and can cause death. Then we eat the fish which carry along the microplastics to our bodies. You Consuming plastic everyday can lead to serious health problems such as cancer, weakened immune systems, body cell destruction, inflation, and the plastic can enter our blood streams.
Pollution isn’t the only big problem that is happening in our oceans today, There is the fishing industry. These people tend to overfish and fish unsustainably. Commercial fishing kills 2.7 trillion fish every year which is equivalent to 5 million every minute. By wiping out large amounts of fish and sea life is very dangerous for the ecosystem. The coral reefs and marine plants thrive off of fish so without them they will die. This can increase climate change because marine plants store 93% of all CO2 and carbon in the world. By losing even 1% percent of this ecosystem is equivalent to releasing 97 million car emissions. Overfishing is disrupting the ocean food chain leading to huge amounts of damage, loss of resources, overpopulation and extinction. Recent studies showed that if we keep up these ways the ocean will be nearly empty by the year 2048.
Now how can I help stop damaging the ocean? The number one way to help is to boycott eating fish. By buying fish from large companies you are supporting commercial fishing (overfishing). As to how good fish might taste there are some negative outcomes to consuming it. Fish are extremely dirty and carry microplastic and heavy metals such as mercury . It increases your intake of dioxins, PCBs and pesticide residues. These can cause many health problems and disrupt development in your brain and nervous system. Fish also make omega 3 fatty acids, which comes from the algae cells they eat. Overall it is better to not support the fishing Industry and go to a plant based diet. Now if you don’t or can’t stop eating fish there are other alternatives. Decreasing the amount of plastic you are using and trying to go plastic free is one way. You can also help pick up trash around your area. It is also great to repurpose and recycle your items. Please help out in saving our oceans!