Old fishing nets and rope can entangle seals, sea birds, cetaceans and fish and kill them slowly. Reports of entanglement have shown to affect a 135 different marine species.
Large nets can carry on fishing (we call this ghost fishing) forever and could kill all kinds of animals, from fish to whales, with no human to intervene and release them or haul them in. It is needless.
Plastic doesn’t biodegrade like organic material and will just keep on breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces that could take hundreds, if not thousands of years to degrade. These small pieces can be eaten by wildlife and may enter the food chain. Recent studies prove that even plankton can eat tiny plastic fragments.
Plastics absorb harmful toxins in seawater that can accumulate up the food chain. Chemicals added to plastics during manufacturing to give them specific properties can also leach into the marine environment or organisms.
Animals and birds mistake plastics for food and eat it. The example everyone always uses is turtles mistaking plastic bags for jellyfish. This plastic will stay in the animal’s stomach, as some species can’t regurgitate or pass it, and will eventually kill it.
© COPYRIGHT 2022 THE 2 MINUTE FOUNDATION.
The 2 Minute Foundation is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO number 1185614). Registered Office: c/o 2 St Helen’s Close, Croyde, Devon, EX33 1PW.