Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Millions Of Pounds Of Trash Found On Ocean Beaches

Date:
April 18, 2008
Source:
Ocean Conservancy
Summary:
Ocean Conservancy released its annual report on trash in the ocean with new data from the 2007 International Coastal Cleanup the most comprehensive snapshot of the harmful impacts of marine debris. The mission of Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup is to engage people to remove trash from the world's beaches and waterways, to identify the sources of debris and to change the behaviors that cause pollution.

Trash on a beach. Trash in the ocean kills more than one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and turtles each year through ingestion and entanglement.
Credit: NOAA

Ocean Conservancy released its annual report on trash in the ocean with new data from the 2007 International Coastal Cleanup the most comprehensive snapshot of the harmful impacts of marine debris. The mission of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup is to engage people to remove trash from the world’s beaches and waterways, to identify the sources of debris and to change the behaviors that cause pollution.

Related Articles


This year, more than 378,000 volunteers participated in cleanups around every major body of water around the globe. Volunteers record the trash found on land and underwater allowing Ocean Conservancy a global snapshot of the problem.

"Our ocean is sick," says Laura Capps, Senior Vice President at Ocean Conservancy. "And the plain truth is that our ocean ecosystem cannot protect us unless it is healthy and resilient. Harmful impacts like trash in the ocean, pollution, climate change, and habitat destruction are taking its toll. But the good news is that hundreds of thousands of people from around the world are starting a sea change by joining together to clean up the ocean. Trash doesn’t’ fall from the sky it falls from people’s hands. With the International Coastal Cleanup, everyone has an opportunity to make a difference, not just on one day but all year long."

Trash in the ocean kills more than one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and turtles each year through ingestion and entanglement. This year, 81 birds, 63 fish, 49 invertebrates, 30 mammals 11 reptiles and one amphibian were found entangled in debris by volunteers. Some of the debris they were entangled or had ingested include plastic bags, fishing line, fishing nets, six-pack holders, string from a balloon or kite, glass bottles and cans.

Entanglement in Ocean Trash

  • Wraps around flippers causing circulation loss and amputations
  • Creates wounds and cuts leading to bacterial infections
  • Slows animals ability to swim making them more vulnerable to predators
  • Smothers or traps animals, causing them to drown
  • Causes starvation as animals can no-longer eat or feed its young

Ingestion of Ocean Trash

  • Leads to starvation by blocking digestive tracks
  • Provides false sense of being full once swallowed, which leads to starvation
  • Ingests sharp objects like metal or glass that perforate the stomach, causing internal bleeding
  • Becomes lodged in animals windpipes, cutting off airflow and causing suffocation

How Long Does It Take for Trash in the Ocean to Decompose?

  • A tin can that entered the ocean in 1986 is still decomposing in 2036
  • A plastic bottle that entered the ocean in 1986 is decomposing in 2436
  • A glass bottle that entered the ocean in 1986 is decomposing in year 1,001,986

Prevention is the real solution to trash in the ocean. The International Coastal Cleanup volunteers make ocean conservation an everyday priority. Since 1986, more than six million volunteers have removed 116,000,000 pounds of debris across 211,460 miles of shoreline in 127 nations. The 23rd annual Flagship International Coastal Cleanup will be held Sept. 20, 2008.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ocean Conservancy. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ocean Conservancy. "Millions Of Pounds Of Trash Found On Ocean Beaches." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080416214912.htm>.
Ocean Conservancy. (2008, April 18). Millions Of Pounds Of Trash Found On Ocean Beaches. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080416214912.htm
Ocean Conservancy. "Millions Of Pounds Of Trash Found On Ocean Beaches." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080416214912.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins