Torben Lonne Co founder of DIVEIN.com
Guest Blog Scuba Diving Magazine
Copenhagen Business School Denmark
Ocean pollution taken to a new level – what’s happening to our ocean population!
Nearly 75% of the earth is covered in water, and the vast majority of the world’s population lives close to some form of water source. As humans, we use these sources of water to not only provide the water itself, but also as a food source. Some of our favorite delicacies come from a denizen of the watery deeps. The fish that call our water sources home become a part of our household routine as we prepare them in a family meal, bread and fry them to enjoy while watching the game, or using them for bait to catch a larger fish.
But what do the fish eat? The ocean is full of an endless array of potential food sources for the aquatic dwellers. Everything from microscopic plankton all the way up to giant squid and whales is used as potential food for a hungry member of the food chain. Each plant and animal plays its own role in sustaining the world’s largest ecosystem. This is the way nature intended to maintain a healthy balance across our world.
However, due to the ever growing ocean waste of humanity, we are gradually upsetting this balance. As a global community we are unable to effectively implement sustainable habits. We produce a lot of garbage, and all that garbage has to end up somewhere. Often the philosophy, “out of sight, out of mind” becomes the prevalent solution to our garbage problem. We bury our refuse underground, or simply toss it into the nearest body of water, and turn away as it sinks into the abyss.
What we don’t see is how the plastics we use become instruments of torture to the unsuspecting marine life. This youtube video (link below) depicts the fate of one fish that mistook garbage as food.
While cleaning the fish the fisherman discovers a depressing surprise in the fish’s stomach.
As you watch the video you may be inclined to think, “Why would the stupid fish eat garbage?” I would remind you that many of us at one time or another have woken up after a night of fun with a screaming headache and said, “Ugh, that was stupid, I’m never doing that again” only to repeat the same activity that very same night. The difference is that we know what we are doing is dangerous, whereas the fish doesn’t know that its body can’t handle the garbage.
Sadly, while you wake up with a headache, the sea life eating the trash ends up being suffocated and disemboweled from the inside because their bodies cannot clear the garbage from their system.
Ok, I don’t want to be all doom and gloom here, because there is always a way to save lives. In our own homes we can create habits that decrease our personal waste. When you go to the store, consider buying a recyclable water jug, instead of that twelve pack of individually bottled water. At home using reusable water bottle for all of your drinking needs will eliminate excess garbage from toss away bottles and plastic cups.
Always remember, a little goes a long way to saving the lives of the animals and environment we depend on for our existence. What goes on in the ocean, will also affect us, check out his guide on how ocean pollution affects us: