Pollution from Plastic, not overfishing is cause of worldwide depletion of Fisheries

saldanna

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Pollution from Plastic, not overfishing is cause of worldwide depletion Fisheries.

By Salvatore B. D’Anna
September 30, 2009

What do you think would happen if someone had accidently stumbled upon the largest and most destructive pollution problem ever imagined coming from sources worldwide and caused by a material used in almost every product currently being produced?

What if that same pollution had worldwide environmental and human health implications that could be hidden from the public by creating a smoke screen that diverted attention from the real cause of the problem and eliminated most of the possible human health implications at the same time?

What do you think our Federal and State Government would do about the problem? Would they face it head on and possibly cause major disruption in the worldwide trading of products and do whatever they could to clean up the pollution?

Or would they let the problem remain while using a smoke screen to hide it from the public at the expense of one specific industry rather than the powerful industry that caused it?

Maybe what I am about to tell you is just my imagination, or maybe it is true, either way the end result is the same with the fishing industry paying the price for the pollution caused by the plastic industry.

The story begins with a long beach man who stumbled across something that he had never thought he would see while crossing the Pacific from Hawaii to California back in 1997.

From PBS “Plastic Pollution in the Ocean”

In 1997, while sailing from Hawaii to California, amateur scientist Captain Charles Moore made a surprising discovery -- what he calls a vast "garbage patch" of plastic debris in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Transcript

JIM LEHRER: And finally tonight, the problems created by trash floating in the Pacific Ocean. Spencer Michels has our Science Unit report.

SPENCER MICHELS, NewsHour correspondent: Sixty-one-year-old Charles Moore, former owner of a furniture repair business in Long Beach, California, and an amateur scientist, surprised the scientific world with a discovery he made in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

While sailing his research vessel back from Hawaii in 1997, he ran into what he calls a vast "garbage patch" in a calm part of the sea.


CHARLES MOORE, Ocean Researcher: Every single day for that week that we crossed these doldrums, we saw trash every time we came on deck. I think it's fair to say that the phenomena exists from just off the coast of China all the way to a few hundred miles from the coast of California. It's at least one-and-a-half times the size of the United States, approximately 5 million square miles.


SPENCER MICHELS: Using what's called a manta trawl to skim the water, Moore and his crew found tons of trash in an area called the North Pacific Gyre, that is largely off the main shipping and sailing routes. Among the junk: umbrella handles, cigarette lighters, ropes, thousands of toothbrushes.
These are from Hawaii, huh?


CHARLES MOORE: Yes, they're from Asia, probably. Like here's a brand I don't recognize.


SPENCER MICHELS: Most of the trash Moore found was plastic. He and others believe that plastic is washed down rivers into the Pacific, then carried by currents past Central America, by Guam and the Philippines, on towards Japan, picking up more debris all the time. It then flows east into the gyre, a garbage patch estimated by scientists to contain 3.5 million tons of junk.


CHARLES MOORE: It's a very circuitous route, maybe taking five years for a piece of our trash to get out to the gyre.


SPENCER MICHELS: And once there, it gets stuck.


CHARLES MOORE: ... so that you get kind of a toilet bowl effect of dragging the debris from the rim and bringing it into the center.


Federal and International Law that addressed the problem in the 1970’s through the 1990’s concluded that it was a problem caused by those that use the oceans such as shippers and fishermen.

[FONT=&quot] The International authorities include: [/FONT]
·International Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Convention), 1972;
·Protocol of 1978 Relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), 1973/1978;
·and Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, 1983 (Cartegena Convention).
[FONT=&quot]
The Federal authorities include: [/FONT]

      • [FONT=&quot]CWA; [/FONT]
      • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 1976;
      • Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, 1982;
      • Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control Act (MPPRCA), 1987[FONT=&quot]; [/FONT]
      • An Act to Study, Control, and Reduce the Pollution of Aquatic Environments from Plastic Materials and For Other Purposes, 1987;
      • [FONT=&quot]Medical Waste Tracking [/FONT]Act,[FONT=&quot] 1988; [/FONT]
      • Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act(MPRSA), 1972[FONT=&quot]; [/FONT]
      • Beach Act; andShore Protection Act.

For the most part, these Acts had as their main focus the prevention of debris that was caused by shipping and the fishing industry. Here is an example of an article from the States News Service in 1986.
[FONT=&quot]

[/FONT]​

[FONT=&quot]States News Service[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
August 12, 1986, Tuesday[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
LENGTH:[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]564 words

BYLINE:[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]By Tom Bowman, States News Service

DATELINE:[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]WASHINGTON

BODY:[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
Florida's brown pelicans and stone crabs are falling victim to plastic litter that is being dumped by ships and fishermen, a House subcommittee learned.

"Aqua-litter bugs deposit more than one hundred million pounds of plastic trash into the[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] oceans [/FONT][FONT=&quot]each year," said Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass., chairman of the House Coast Guard subcommittee. "It is the mortal enemy of seabirds, marine mammals and fish."[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

Roger McManus, executive director of the Center for Environmental Education, told the committee that plastics -- from six-pack holders to fishing line and nets -- are fatal to marine life.

"Entanglement in monofilament fishing line is considered to be a major problem for the brown pelican in California and Florida," he said.

Discarded fishing nets continue to "catch" shellfish traps years after they have been lost, posing a serious threat to fishery stocks, McManus continued.

Off Florida in the Gulf of Mexico, 25 percent of the 96,000 stone crab traps were lost in 1984, he said.

Many birds and fish mistake plastics for food, said Bruce Manheim of the Environmental Defense Fund, leading to ulcers and death.

The problem is acute in the U.S. coastal areas, but Manheim said plastics have been observed in such remote areas as the Aleutian and Marshall Islands.

While the U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for prohibiting the disposal of trash within America's territorial seas, ship-generated garbage goes largely unregulated beyond the three-mile territorial limit.

Coast Guard Rear Admiral J. William Kime told the panel that the dumping of plastics is prohibited under an proposal before the International Convention for the Prevention of the Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

The proposal will come into force if ratified by 15 nations representing at least 50 percent of the gross tonnage of the world's shipping fleet. To date, the measure has been adopted by 26 nations representing 44.5 percent of the world's shipping fleet.

The United States, representing 4.5 percent of the world's tonnage, has yet to ratify the proposal, said Kime, saying changes are necessary to make the document "more meaningful and enforceable."

Kime said the United States will submit a paper to improve the proposal when the International Maritime Organization's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meets next February.

When the United States ratifies the proposal other countries are likely to follow, said Kime and others.

The proposal will ultimately "establish international standards to solve an international problem," said Kime.

While the United States works with other countries to curb[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] plastic pollution, [/FONT][FONT=&quot]others said that telling the public about the dangers of[/FONT][FONT=&quot] plastic pollution [/FONT][FONT=&quot]is the key to success.

"Public education is the most important element in this process -- that's where we should be spendig our money, " said Carmen Blondin, an administrator for fisheries resource management with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Blondin said, however, he was encouraged by public volunteer efforts, such as beach clean-up days.

More research is also needed said the witnesses into the scope and damage caused by[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] plastic pollution. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Blondin noted that NOAA is financing a study at the University of Miami on plastic ingestion by sea turtles.

Studds said he will consider legislation next year to curb plastics in the[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] ocean.[/FONT]


California’s Research and Conclusions
The California Marine Debris Action Plan of 1990

In recognition of the growing marine debris problem, the Center for Marine Conservation (now The Ocean Conservancy), formed a task group to develop an Action Plan for California. [FONT=&quot]The[/FONT] [FONT=&quot]California Marine Debris Action Plan of 1990 [/FONT]made 22 recommendations for reducing marine debris. The recommendations focused on addressing enforcement of existing laws, educating the public, conducting more research, and enacting new legislation. There was no coordinated effort to oversee the Plan’s implementation.

Only a few of the Plan’s recommendations were implemented.
The 1990 Plan reflects the level of understanding of the problem and potential solutions at that time. For example, at that time, the marine debris problem was considered a problem stemming mostly from ocean based activities, and the recommendations of that Plan reflect that point of view. Since then, research has changed our understanding of the problem and the range of options for addressing it.

Knowing that this was a major problem that impacted the fisheries of California , less than two years after the discovery of the Pacific Garbage Patch, the Congress of California passed the Marine Life Protection Act which instead of focusing on the possible implications that plastic pollution was having on the fisheries, closes fishing with no take zones.

What is the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA)?

The MLPA was passed in 1999 and requires California to reevaluate all existing marine protected areas (MPAs) and potentially design new MPAs that together function as a statewide network. The MLPA has clear guidance associated with the development of this MPA network. MPAs are developed on a regional basis with MLPA and MPA specific goals in mind, and are evaluated over time to assess their effectiveness for meeting these goals.
Read the MLPA


[FONT=&quot]California Coastal Commission Conducts research on the cause and source of the plastic debris problem.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Read the California Action Plan[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]The Algalita Marine Research Foundation (AMRF) and the California Coastal Commission (CCC) developed a joint program aimed at focusing attention on the significance of land-based discharges of marine debris— the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Plastic Debris, Rivers to[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Sea Project[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. The Project, which was implemented in 2003-2006, received significant funding and support from the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) through a Proposition 13 grant. [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]With a history of investigating the character and extent of the plastic debris problem in the Pacific Ocean and coastal waters of Southern California, AMRF conducted further research during this two-year Project. Their investigation showed clearly that litter and industrial discharges of pre-production plastic pellets and powders originate from inland urban areas and migrate through storm drain systems to beaches and coastal waterways.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The CCC helped to focus local and international attention on marine debris as a land-based issue by developing an international conference on plastic debris, a film about the problem, a website (www.plasticdebris. org), a manual of trash BMPs for local storm water programs, and by facilitating the development of this Action Plan.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Debris as a Transport Mechanism for Toxics and[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Invasive Species[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Evidence that plastic debris is a transport mechanism for toxic substances in the marine environment and waterways raises additional concerns over potential impacts to marine ecosystems, since marine animals ingest plastic fragments and pellets. Additional research is needed to determine if these toxic chemicals are contaminating marine food chains.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Marine plastic resin pellets carry two types of organic micropollutants, plastic additives and pollutants adsorbed from ambient seawater.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Additive-derived pollutants are the chemical plastic additives (e.g., antioxidants) and their degradation products. One type of additive, nonylphenols, was detected in plastic resin pellets collected from Japanese coasts.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Another type, phthalates, was discovered in all field samples from the Los Angeles and San Gabriel River watersheds during studies carried out by AMRF during the Project.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Nonylphenols and phthalates exhibit endocrine disrupting effects in some marine species.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Pollutants that are adsorbed onto marine plastic pellets from ambient seawater include: polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), dichloro-diphenyl-dichloroethylene (DDE; a degradation product of the organochlorine pesticide, DDT), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Concentrations of PCBs and DDE on marine plastic resin pellets collected from Japanese coasts were found to be up to 1 million times higher than the levels detected in surrounding seawater.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Similarly, analysis of pellets found in the Los Angeles and San Gabriel River watersheds (beach and river samples) conducted by AMRF found PAHs in similar concentrations on pellets and plastic fragments.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Concentrations of PAHs on the pellets collected in Southern California rivers are comparable to those found in storm water in the same locations (around 2.5 ppb). This is consistent with the conclusions of Mato et al., who found that resin pellets from industrialized areas contained larger amounts of PCBs than those from a remote site. They concluded that the contaminant levels in the surrounding environment determine contaminant concentrations in resin pellets.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Floating and migrating plastic debris also transport invasive and alien species. The larvae of invasive species may attach to floating debris and be transported to habitats where they don’t belong.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Plastics have been shown to acquire a variety of passenger organisms, such as bacteria, diatoms, algae, barnacles, hydroids, tunicates, and some species of bryozoans.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]The arrival of unwanted alien species can be detrimental to littoral, intertidal, and shoreline ecosystems.[/FONT]


Why has there been no research on the impact to the coastal fisheries and in particular to the entire food chain caused by the plastic pollution of our waters?

Everyone knows that the ingestion of petro chemicals and other oil based items are carcinogens and can cause cancer. It is also well known that PCB’s and other toxic chemicals cause problems in the reproductive systems of both human and marine life. It has been shown that plastic absorbs other contaminants due to its very nature. PCB concentrations in plastic pellets found in the ocean have 1 million times more concentration of PCB which in turn is ingested by marine life and ends up in our food. Right around the time that the MLPA is about to finish it’s long and erroneous process with the Southern California Region, the research that should have occurred decades ago is starting to finally be released. Some of this research, including portions of the research mentioned in the CCC 2006 Action Plan is part of the same research mentioned below. Even though it has been established that the “garbage patch” was discovered and reported by Mr. Moore back in 1997, the article below says that it has only been recognized in recent years when reported by sailing yachts.


Scientists uncover new ocean threat from plastics
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Thursday, 20 August 2009


Scientists have identified a new source of chemical pollution released by the huge amounts of plastic rubbish found floating in the oceans of the world. A study has found that as plastics break down in the sea they release potentially toxic substances not found in nature and which could affect the growth and development of marine organisms.

Until now it was thought that plastic rubbish is relatively stable chemically and, apart from being unsightly, its principle threat to living creatures came from its ability to choke or strangle any animals that either got caught in it or ingested it thinking it was food.

But the latest research suggests that plastic is also a source of dissolved substances that can easily become widely dispersed in the marine environment. Many of these chemicals are believed toxic to humans and animals, the scientists said.

The scale of plastic pollution in the sea has only been widely recognized in recent years when sailing yachts reported vast areas of ocean, such as an area estimated to be twice the size of Texas in the North Pacific, that seem to be permanently covered in a layer of floating marine litter caught up in swirling ocean currents or gyres.

Some of the items were found to be many decades old, suggesting that the plastic took a long time to degrade. However, a study by Katsuhiko Saido at Nihon University in Chiba, Japan, has found that plastics degrade relatively quickly in the conditions and temperatures that were designed to simulate the environment of the open ocean.

“Plastics in daily use are generally assumed to be quite stable. We found that plastic in the ocean actually decomposes as it is exposed to the rain and sun and other environmental conditions, giving rise to yet another source of global [FONT=&quot]contamination[/FONT] that will continue into the future,” Dr Saido said.

“To date, no studies have been conducted on plastic decomposition at low temperature in the environment owing to the mistaken conception that plastic does not decompose. The present study was conducted to clarify that drift plastic does indeed decompose to give rise to hazardous chemicals in the ocean,” he said.

The scientists found that when plastics decompose in the ocean they release a range of chemicals, such as bisphenol A and substances known as polystyrene-based (PS) oligomers, which are not found naturally. [FONT=&quot]Bisphenol A[/FONT] has been implicated in disrupting the hormonal system of animals.

A common form of plastic rubbish is styrofoam, which soon gets crushed into small pieces in the sea. However, it also releases substantial quantities of a toxic substances called styrene monomer, which is known to cause cancer, as well as styrene dimers and trimer, which are suspected of being carcinogenic. The trimer also breaks down into the toxic monomer form.

Findings from the study were released yesterday at the American Chemical Society meeting in Washington. Dr Saido said that samples of seawater collected from the Pacific Ocean were found to be contaminated with up to 150 parts per million of some of these components of plastic decomposition.

“This study clearly shows new micro-pollution by compounds generated by plastic decomposition to be taking place out of sight in the ocean. Thus, marine debris plastics in the ocean will certainly give rise to new sources of global contamination that will persist long into the future,” he said.

It is estimated that there could be hundreds of millions of tons of plastic rubbish floating in the world’s oceans. In Japan alone, it is calculated that 150,000 tons of plastic is washed up on its shores each year.


Research conducted in Southern California Confirms the problem in our coastal waters.

[FONT=&quot]The most abundant type of debris impacting coastal beaches in Southern California’s Orange County is pre-production plastic pellets, the plastic industry’s principal feedstock. Hard plastic objects and pieces are over a hundred times less common but weigh one and a half times as much as the pellets. The presence of pre and post consumer plastics in the marine environment and on beaches is not only a Southern California phenomenon. “The literature on marine debris leaves no doubt that plastics make-up most of the marine litter worldwide.”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]California policy defines trash as debris that is trapped by a 5 mm mesh screen (Trash TMDL). Our data confirms the abundance of plastic debris greater than 5 mm; however, our data shows that plastic particles less than 5 mm in size are far more abundant. The most common plastics found were bits of foamed polystyrene (commonly but incorrectly called Styrofoam, which is a patented insulation made by Dow Chemical Co.), followed by pre-production plastic pellets, hard plastic fragments, thin films, line, and whole items. Our findings indicate that there is a significant amount of plastic debris, which, due to its size, is not subject to regulation under current TMDLs for trash, passing our sampling stations and discharging to the estuaries.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Abundant plastic debris was found in both rivers, during wet and dry periods. The first wet period sampling in November 2004 was after a couple of rain events had moved through the area, so a lot of debris that had been collecting in the rivers since the last notable rain had already washed down the river. Also, the samples were not taken at the crest of each river’s flood stage, so our estimates likely underestimate the actual storm water loading of plastic debris. The dry period sample was taken after the highest annual rainfall in over 100 years, which was the second highest annual rainfall in recorded history for this area. Again, a lot of debris had passed through the rivers before samples were taken, and there was considerable loading from the masses of filamentous algae that proliferated and broke loose along the river’s course, filling sampling nets quickly and making debris separation and quantification difficult.[/FONT]


[FONT=&quot]Short deployment times may have allowed nets to miss debris present in the rivers. Nevertheless, there were substantial amounts of plastic debris in both rivers during each of the sampling events, including the Spring sampling when flow was low and algae abundant. [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The highest total count density was found on the Los Angeles River on November 22, 2004, with 13,752 pieces collected in our samples. Based on data furnished by the Los Angeles Department of Public Works, the mean flow for 24 hours on the LA River on November 22, 2004 was 354,592 cubic meters near where our samples were collected. Extrapolation from our collected samples would likely underestimate the total count of debris since our sampling devices collected from a small proportion of the total river cross section. Applying the total flow to our average collected debris counts per cubic meter on that day yields the data set in Table 6. Applying the same flow total to our average weight density yields the weights for debris listed in Table 7. It is unlikely that these tables exaggerate the actual totals. With more systematic and comprehensive monitoring it should be possible to obtain a fairly complete picture of how much debris is being transported by the rivers. Such data could form a baseline to support decisions by policy makers regarding how to reduce trash and plastic entering our rivers and estuaries. Unless measures are taken to control debris less than 5 mm in diameter, billions of plastic particles per day will make their way to the marine ecosystem, where they exist in all strata of the water column, have been observed to be readily ingested by a wide variety of marine invertebrates, firmly embed themselves in the tissue of filter feeding organisms, and appear in the stomach contents of many species of marine fishes and birds.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The Connection To The Plastic Industry[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Funding for the MLPA has been an issue for many years until the problem was resolved by accepting private funds to implement the plan. One of the major sources of funds is [/FONT][FONT=&quot]The David and Lucile Packard Foundation. According to the ASTRA website, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation was founded by ASTRA. ASTRA stands for The Alliance for Technology and Research in America. Some of those on their Board of Directors include the following:

[/FONT] [FONT=&quot]John Balance[/FONT], Materials Research Society[FONT=&quot]
Dr. Susan Butts[/FONT]
, Dow Chemical
Company[FONT=&quot]Dr. Catherine T.[/FONT], Rohm and Haas Company[FONT=&quot]
David Plummer[/FONT]
, Sandia National Laboratories

[FONT=&quot]This link will take you to a letter dated January 17, 2009 written by ASTRA to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that thanks her for proposing bold and achievable funding levels for key science agencies —and by extension for America’s beleaguered scientific, engineering and technology communities in the American Economic Recovery and Investment Act of 2009. [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]At the end of the letter it lists the current member s of ASTRA which include [/FONT]

American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, David & Lucille Packard Foundation, Dow Chemical Company, and DuPont, just to name a few of the extensive list.

The Marine Science Institute lists on their website their donors which include Dow Chemicals and The David Lucille Packard Foundation.

Current Investigation
[FONT=&quot]In May, the state Fair Political Practices Commission opened an investigation into conflict of interest charges lodged by fishing groups against Fish and Game Commissioner Michael Sutton, a controversial appointee to the panel from Monterey who works at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

His critics contend Sutton has a conflict of interest because of his connections to the aquarium and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation and their support of the controversial Marine Life Protection Act. Detractors contend Sutton shouldn't be able to vote on matters dealing with marine protection areas established under the law.[/FONT]



In what appears to be an effort to tell people which species of fish are less polluted by their plastic, the industry opened FishWise

* * * * * * * * * * COMMUNICATIONS * * * * * * * * * *
URL: FishWise - Advancing Leadership in Sustinable Seafood

* * * * * * * * * * DESCRIPTION * * * * * * * * * *


Currently available in 16 stores on the West Coast, FishWise was developed by nonprofit Sustainable Fishery Advocates' founders, two University of California Santa Cruz Ocean Sciences graduate students, who were concerned about the precipitous decline of important fisheries. FishWise serves as the "consumer's guide to healthy seafood" because it identifies selections that are healthy for the environment and healthy for consumers. With FishWise, consumers can choose seafood that is a high quality, lean source of protein and contains omega-3 fatty acid, and low in contaminants like mercury and PCBs. SFA also works to source more sustainable options and provide this information to distributors. SFA receives funding from many foundations including the David and Lucille Packard Foundation. FishWise - Advancing Leadership in Sustinable Seafood.


[FONT=&quot]MY CONCLUSION[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Some might call it a conspiracy theory, and maybe it is. Or maybe it isn’t? It wouldn’t be the first time in the history of this country that a major problem involving pollution was covered up by a major corporation with the help of the government. The Erin Brockovich story involving Pacific Gas and Electric comes immediately to my mind as one of the first to get exposed and certainly not the last.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]While others may disagree with me, it is my conclusion that the power and money from the Plastic Industry, an industry that is the foundation for almost every product in use today, has been used to pass legislation that would hide the disastrous effects their products are having on the marine life in our oceans. This was done by first blaming the shipping and fishing industry for the plastic debris in the ocean back in the late 1980’s – 1990’s by pointing to ships and fishermen, those that use the oceans, as the cause of the plastic pollution. Once that theory could no longer be sustainable due to the discovery by Mr. Moore of “the garbage patch’, they focused their attention on blaming the fishing industry for the depletion of fisheries worldwide due to “overfishing” which was just another way to hide the real reason for fish depletion that was and continues to be pollution caused by their plastic and the devastating effect on the reproductive systems of marine life worldwide.[/FONT]


If you were the CEO of an industry responsible for the depletion of ifsh and marine life worldwide, wouldn't it make sense to try to blame someone else like fishermen. The pellets or nurdles found in both local and deep sea areas can only have come from manufacturers of plastic. Instead of constantly getting blamed for the problems in the fishing industry, it is time for this industry to stand up and be noticed. The best and most direct way to get their attention would be to file a lawsuit against the Plastic Industry and all of the companies involved including Dow Chemical and DuPont demanding reparations for the damages we have sustained due to their negligence in polluting our oceans for decades and the clean up which could take centuries to complete.


Salvatore B. D'Anna


[FONT=&quot]Watch video from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Watch video “The Garbage Patch”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Watch video of what was found inside an albatross.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Read other Research Papers from Algalita Marine Research Foundation.[/FONT]
 
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Demon Cleaner

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Interesting stuff. It would even more interesting if I could see aerial photos or photos in general of the garbage patch. I could only find animations and pictures of plastic on beaches or landfills. Makes sense it would all gather somewhere.
 
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Toad Patrol

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Sal, good post, but man, is there anything we do that doesn't have some negative impact on the planet? Makes me embarrased I'm a human.
Give me back my tail!
Unfortunately the number of ignorant, irresponsible people out there far outnumbers those aware of our self destruction. That amount of trash comes from everybody world wide. Who's gonna pull that plastic bottle out of the hand of some primitive, uneducated, tribesman or overeducated, wall street executive? They're both responsible and neither gives a shit. Out of sight out of mind.
It's not just plastic trash or overfishing, it's both and more. No one's innocent, no one can say it's not my fault. We got ourselves in a bit of a fix, and most don't know it yet. It will be interesting to see who comes up with a solution, too bad you can't just hit reboot and start over with a clean slate. If we don't get a handle on this, that might get done for us.
Bye, bye...
-Scott
 
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saldanna

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Who's gonna pull that plastic bottle out of the hand of some primitive, uneducated, tribesman or overeducated, wall street executive? They're both responsible and neither gives a shit. Out of sight out of mind.

The answer to your question above has been and continues to be the plastic industry what has known of the destruction they have caused and yet continues run their business as usual and in fact has helped cover up their mess by blaming fishermen.

Back in the 1960's, there wasn't this problem with plastic because most items were made of glass which is recyclable and does degrade over time. The plastic industry advertised to all of us that their product was better and because they were betting everyone was lazy, produced throw away products that should not get thrown away. The stuff we throw away such as plastic forks, cups, and plates, etc. actually last longer than their glass predecessor.

The plastic industry has made us addicted to plactic and when it was discovered that their products were floating and polluting the entire ocean, they not only did nothing, they blamed shippers and fishermen for littering the oceans when they new all along it was urban runoff causing the problem.

The fact that their pellets are the major source of the pollution is proof that they knew where it was coming from and continued to do nothing. When the fish started dying, they decided to blame overfishing as the excuse to avoid their own liability by creating Foundations and paying for the MLPA.
 
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Steel Leader

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Very sad and disturbing.

I hope and pray we can somehow clean that mess up and figure out what to do with that plastic in our lifetimes.
 
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JM138

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This post is 12 years old. Good job.

I have many issues with the "facts" and images relating to this mass of plastic that is "2 times the size of Texas", where is that satellite image? too many people in this world, comprised of 99.9 percent hypocrites who drive plastic cars and type about plastic waste on their plastic computers. Plastic is a problem, but not to the extent that is claimed.
 
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momaguro

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Since the article was written micro plastics from clothes washing is the newly discovered source of a worse problem. For example clothes made from recycled water bottles that were once touted as being 'green' have been revealed as very bad for the marine ecosystem.

In "The Graduate" the old man's advice to pursue a career in plastics has grown in irony to the story's plot of youth disillusionment with the status quo. I do what I can to reduce use of petroleum products but readily admit I am far from being weaned.
 
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Tunahead

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    Have you ever seen the PLASTIC ISLAND mid Pacific??? Said to be as big as Rhode Island and growing? Insane. LOL
    PLASTIC.jpg
     
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