Marine Pollutions – Plastic Garbage on Shore and at Sea

The entry of plastics in the oceans is not only jeopardizing the marine ecosystem but finally will be consumed by the marine life and introduced to the food Chain. Finally this harmful substance will be transferred to the human beings with dangerous impacts on his health.

Because for the time being the depletion of plastics from the sea and oceans is technically and therefore have no lasting effect on such pollutions solutions have to be found to avoid entrance of plastics and garbage in rivers, seas and oceans.   

Quote of Professor Chris Bellamy, Director Greenwich Maritime Institute, University of Greenwich

Plastic products can be very harmful to marine life. Loggerhead Sea Turtles, for example, often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish – their favourite food, while marine animals and birds such as albatrosses are strangled by the plastic rings used to hold six-packs together. As plastic and other rubbish concentrates on the surface of the water they block sunlight from reaching algae and plankton below. These are the most common autotrophs in the marine food chain – organisms that can produce their own nutrients from oxygen, carbon and sunlight. The effect will snowball. Fish, cetaceans and turtles that feed on algae and plankton will have less food, and if they die off, there will be less food for predators like tuna, sharks and carnivorous whales.

But the effect of plastic disintegrating into smaller and smaller pieces is perhaps the most terrifying of all. At a Global Ocean Commission seminar in Oxford on 21 November 2013, Professor Alex Rogers of Oxford’s Zoology Department described an expedition to the Pacific. He said that from several metres down to more than a kilometre the water was absolutely permeated with small shreds of plastic. The effect on marine creatures which swallowed them, and on the bigger creatures that swallowed them, and, ultimately, on us, is difficult to predict, but could be catastrophic.

As population growth and globalisation allow us to penetrate and exploit the deeper seas, and as technology allows us to, it is surely time to reappraise the governance of the half of the world that is still ‘high seas’, and the global commons that the vast if finite resources within them represent.


Prof. Chris Bellamy