Photos

Photographer's Note

Can you imagine that mountain?
The mass of plastic in the oceans may be as high as one hundred million metric tons - 100000000.

Plastic debris tends to accumulate at the centre of ocean gyres. In particular, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has a very high level of plastic particulate suspended in the upper water column.

Plastics accumulate because they don't biodegrade in the way many other substances do. They will photodegrade on exposure to the sun, but they do so properly only under dry conditions, and water inhibits this process. In marine environments, photodegraded plastic disintegrates into ever smaller pieces while remaining polymers, even down to the molecular level. When floating plastic particles photodegrade down to zooplankton sizes, jellyfish attempt to consume them, and in this way the plastic enters the ocean food chain.

Toxic additives used in the manufacture of plastic materials can leach out into their surroundings when exposed to water.

Floating debris can also absorb persistent organic pollutants from seawater, including PCBs, DDT and PAHs.

Aquatic life can be threatened through entanglement, suffocation, and ingestion. Fishing nets, usually made of plastic, can be left or lost in the ocean by fishermen. Known as ghost nets, these entangle fish, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, dugongs, crocodiles, seabirds, crabs, and other creatures, restricting movement, causing starvation, laceration and infection, and, in those that need to return to the surface to breathe, suffocation.

Welcome in the plastic-world...

For more: Wikipedia, Marine Pollution

Mondaychild has marked this note useful

Photo Information
Viewed: 1159
Points: 2
Discussions
  • None
Additional Photos by Janos Sofalvi (joso) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 754 W: 206 N: 378] (2417)
View More Pictures
explore TREKEARTH