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Impacts of Marine Litter - Book Report/Review Example

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Marine wildlife ingests plastic debris, mistaking it for prey. This reduces the storage volume of the stomach, dulls appetite and leads to weight loss…
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Impacts of Marine Litter
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Download file to see previous pages Drifting plastic debris may acquire a fauna of encrusting organisms such as bacteria and algae, and become a possible pathway for alien species invasion. This is a major threat to native marine biodiversity. (Derraik, 2002). Many animals get entangled in drifting synthetic fishing nets and die from drowning, injury, impaired mobility and starvation (Murray, 2009). One of the greatest hazards to wildlife comes from derelict fishing nets, sometimes called ‘ghost nets,’ which cause massive damage as they continue to fish passively while drifting on the oceans (Ceccarelli, 2009).Twenty threatened marine wildlife species, listed under the EPBC Act, are negatively impacted by marine debris, including turtles, sharks, whales, seals, sea lions, dugongs and seabirds, such as the albatross, petrel and pelican (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 2009).
Marine debris negatively impacts the environment. Marine debris is concentrated on the beaches and coasts, leading to an aesthetic loss to the shoreline. There is a direct correlation between marine debris and maritime accidents. Maritime vessels suffer engine failure when propellers and shafts get entangled with floating debris, such as fishing nets and ropes. Plastics can block water suction pipes, leading to heated engines (Cho, 2005). Land-based marine debris, such as Medical and personal hygiene debris, can accumulate on beaches and infect the water, leading to infections including hepatitis, diarrhea, bacillary dysentery and skin rashes. Debris is moved by the currents and can physically damage the shoreline, living coral reef, and other important, fragile aquatic habitats through abrasion. Habitat destruction is caused by debris which is entangled in ropes and nets which may smother sea grass or corals, cause increased siltation and turbidity and block the sunlight necessary for sea life (Sheavly and Register, 2007). Beach debris such as broken glass and rusty gas ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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