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The Effects Of Dead South American Fur Seals

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Along the coast bordering northern Argentina, and southern Brazil, the consequence of plastic being ubiquitous is evident. 133 Dead South American Fur Seals (SAFS) were found in this area; the stomach of these individuals were examined. Solid waste found in the ocean is called marine debris, given that the source of the waste is from humans. Of the sampled seals, ten of them had marine debris in their stomach; the seals found to have marine debris in their stomach were typically young. Most of the marine debris extracted from the stomachs were plastic. Just like the microplastic, these larger plastic pieces found in the stomachs of organisms can be either directly or indirectly ingested (Denuncio et al., 2017). The impact plastic has on…show more content…
Although all of these are potential hazards of plastic ingestion, it is usually not the cause of death for loggerhead sea turtles (Pham et al., 2017). It is still possible to die as a direct result from ingesting plastic; one turtle was observed to have its esophagus punctured from other marine debris. The esophagus was blocked by plastic, and was the direct cause for this individual’s death.
Since plastic bags have also negatively impacted marine life, many bags are now biodegradable plastic (Balestri, Menicalgi, Vallerini, and Lardicci, 2017). The change was to address the accumulation of plastic bags in the environment. The biodegradable bags, however, are not biodegrading in marine sediments. Some bags were placed in marine sediments where some cellulose was being broken down. Despite six months passing, the biodegradable bags still weighed 85% their initial weight. The sediment was normoxic prior to the addition of the biodegradable bag, but after the bag was added, the sediment was nearing hypoxic conditions. The physical barrier of the bag between the sediment and the water could have interfered with the diffusion of oxygen. The bag was also a thermal insulator; the sediment was cooler with the presence of the bag. Seagrass do not thrive in hypoxic conditions, which may imply that the presence of biodegradable bags in the sediment are detrimental for the proliferation of seagrass. The presence of the bag also resulted
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