Plastic in the Ocean

Topics: Pacific Ocean, Ocean, Marine debris Pages: 1 (1180 words) Published: January 27, 2012
Pacific Ocean Plastic Waste Dump that I found most interesting was that “This mass of plastic is slowly being broken down into a plastic dust that marine wildlife mistake for food. Small fish consume tiny bits of plastic as if they were normal plankton. Those fish are then consumed by larger species and the plastic contamination moves up the food chain” [ (Fitzgerald) ]. I will admit that I have been to the ocean on numerous times and I have watched waves carry out plastic bottles, sandwich bags and other plastic based items. Some of the items that have washed away have been my own. I never really thought much of until today. While on vacation, I also enjoy dining out on seafood. The thought that I could potentially be feeding my daughter and my family potentially harmful food due to plastic contamination from my lack of knowledge and understanding is very disturbing to me. As Kristen E. Silven states in her article Plastic Contamination in the Atlantic Ocean, plastics contain chemicals that are slowly released in to the waters and atmospheres, which the fish will end up breathing in and contaminating themselves, fishermen then catch these fish and the contamination ends up back in the human food chain. I have been told throughout my life to limit my intake of tuna due to the high levels of mercury that are found in tuna. In a study conducted by Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins during the Algalita Marine Research Foundation’s 2008 voyage across the North Pacific, they found that 35% of the 671 lantern fish had plastic particles in their stomachs. Lantern fish are the primary food source for Salmon, Tuna, Mahi Mahi and other fish commonly eaten by humans [ (Boyle) ]. This will increase the possibility of ingesting toxic chemicals such as BPA, Phthalates and the oily toxins that the plastic is able to absorb (such as partially burned carbons) due to plastic being oliophillic. I know that after reading and researching this topic, this year on vacation, I will make...
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