Choking Our Oceans With Plastic

Choking Our Oceans With Plastic

Choking Our Oceans With Plastic

In the North Pacific Ocean, there exists the largest marine debris vortex in the world: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This garbage patch consists of two distinct collections of marine debris, litter that ends up in large bodies of water, that are bound to the currents of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Such massive trash vortexes existed across the world, forming on common shipping routes in areas, like the North Sea, as marine debris and garbage float around the globe. These patches pose extreme risks to the health of the planet and marine life as they can cause species to choke, become injured, or starve to death due to the debris.

Spanning from the west coast of North America all the way to Japan, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch’s two collections of marine debris, the Western and Eastern Garbage Patches, are connected together by the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone, located several hundred kilometers north of Hawaii. Convergence zones are areas where warm southern Pacific waters connect with cooler Arctic waters, creating a current that floats debris from one path to the other. However, ocean gyres, circular systems of ocean currents created by the Earth’s rotation and wind patterns, keep the garbage patches bound within a space. In the case of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, four currents move together around an area of about 7.7 million square miles. The areas at the center of a gyre tend to be calm and stable, drawing the marine debris towards their centers where it becomes trapped and collects.

It is also believed that the ocean floor beneath the Great Pacific Garbage Patch may consist of a large mass of underwater trash, as it has been recently discovered that approximately 70% of marine debris sinks to the bottom of the sea. As the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, among the others, is far from the coastlines of any single country, no nation is willing to put forth the funds, or claim any responsibility, for the cleanup of the ocean. Racing boat captain Charles Moore, who discovered the debris vortex as he sailed from Hawaii to California, claimed that putting the effort forth to clean the wasteland would “bankrupt any country.”

Despite the large challenge the debris vortexes present, we must not have a pessimistic mindset when the future and health of our waters are at risk. If our governments and leaders will not take initiative to protect our planet, life, and waters, we the people of the world must take a stand for accountability and work together to bring positive change to the world.

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/

https://response.restoration.noaa.gov/about/media/how-big-great-pacific-garbage-patch-science-vs-myth.html

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/garbagepatch.html

Shark Attacks

Shark Attacks

Sharks don’t like the taste of us much. In fact for every shark that kills a human, a human kills two million sharks averaging one hundred million a year. Most shark attacks occur around popular beaches about one hundred feet away from the shore line. Sharks attack about eight people a year with less then half being fatal. These are not threatening animals to humans, they don’t hunt us but we enter their domain and mistake us for seals, sea turtles, and sea lions. #SAVEOURSHARKS

 

Knowing our Neighbors

Knowing our Neighbors

Most sharks can’t stop moving or they will drown because there is no water flowing through their gills. Sharks are especially active at night when they hunt. Some sharks migrate over very large distances like the Great White for food and breeding. Great Whites also attack and surprise their prey usually being sea lions and seals.While other shark species are solitary, others display social behavior at various levels. Hammerhead sharks, for instance, school during the mating season around seamounts and islands. All sharks are different and play a different role in one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. #SAVEOURSHARKS

 

King of the Ocean

King of the Ocean

Sharks play a very important role in the ocean which most fish do not. Sharks are top predators with little to no natural predators. They help keep other fish populations in check for a healthy population and functional and diverse ecosystem like a coral reef. The loss of these apex predators will cause ecosystems to collapse, then go “dead” being unable to sustain life, and that’s exactly what’s happening. #SAVEOURSHARKS

 

Goodbye SHARKS!

Goodbye SHARKS!

These predators that are on the top of the food chain help keep the oceans very large ecosystem balanced. Humans kill over 100 million every year, which is cause it these creatures to be on the extinction list. So if they are going extinct, predators like the grouper and snapper eat more fish because of their population increases. Now the fish they consume eat algae, so if all the grouper eat those fish there’s nothing to keep the algae from overgrowing and killing coral roofs and small crustaceans. The ocean holds the MOST diverse ecosystems so when coral reefs die, millions of other species are left with nothing, no food or shelter. So, this leaves fishermen with no job, and the beautiful reef is no longer there for tourism. Also, if there’s no coral, it can’t protect coastal areas from storm damage, erosion, or floods. #SAVEOURSHARKS

 

Shark Extinction

Shark Extinction

Sharks are very endangered and put on the top ten list of endangered species. Sharks are threatened by shark fishing, commercial fishing, commercial fishing by-catch, pirate fishing, bait drum lines, shark nets, chemical pollution, garbage which equals 14 billion pounds a year, and habitat loss which is only a few examples as to what we do to our ecosystems. We invade their territory and with only an average of 19 shark attacks and half being fatal we kill over 100 million. This as supports the acidification of our oceans. If sharks go extinct, humans may be next.