The Effects Of Plastic On The Ocean

2050 WordsNov 15, 20149 Pages
Plastic in the ocean A large number of marine species are known to be harmed and/or killed by plastic debris, which jeopardize their survival, since many are already endangered by other forms of anthropogenic activities. Marine animals are affected through entanglement in and ingestion of plastic litter (Marine Debris). Less conspicuous forms, such as plastic pellets and “scrubbers” are also hazardous. To address the problem of plastic debris in the oceans is a difficult task, and a variety of approaches are required. According to research conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, 14 billion pounds of trash is dumped into the ocean each year. That is more than 38 million pounds a day. More than 85% of all the trash that is dumped comes from the world’s merchant shipping fleet. According to the same research, the United States is responsible for an estimated one- third of all the trash that is dumped into the ocean (Amaral). The reason this is still going on is because the majority of the trash that is dumped is in international waters. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea that convened in 1982 defines territorial waters and international waters as: territorial waters are waters extending up to 12 nautical miles from a coastal state, and they are considered to be within the jurisdiction of that particular state or ‘territorial waters’ If oceans, seas, rivers or lakes extend beyond international boundaries and are not territorial waters, they are classed as
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