"Temata, the whale that brought communities across Rarotonga in the Cook Islands together in a large-scale rescue operation to try and save her during the summer of 2007, fell ill after she ingested a plain white shopping bag and ultimately died."
Floating plastic bags are often mistaken for tasty jellyfish by hungry marine creatures
Plastic pellets (small hard pieces of plastic from which plastic products are made) look like fish eggs to sea birds
There are over 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating on every square mile of ocean
There is six times as much plastic as "zooplankton" floating on the water's surface in the North Pacific Central Gyre of the Pacific Ocean. The term "Zooplankton" includes tiny microscopic organisms such as protozoan & rotifers as well as larger plankton such as jellyfish & shrimp.
The oceans cover 70 percent of the planet's surface and constitute 99 percent of its living space, and every drop of ocean water holds living things.
Entering the 21st century, ocean biology faces tremendous challenges-not only to understand the complex ecosystems of the sea, but to learn how to maintain the integrity, productivity, and resources of the ocean for the future. The sea and its biology is crucial for us and our planet-for balancing oxygen and carbon dioxide, for maintaining genetic diversity, and for producing food.
Human civilization is putting increasing pressure on ocean life, from over fishing, nutrient pollution, waste dumping, and climate change due to greenhouse effects. These are large and complex problems; understanding and alleviating them is essential.
Sources: Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, United Nations Environment Programme, Algalita Marine Research Foundation and Ocean Life Institute