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Marine Debris in the Hawaiian coast - Essay Example

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This essay explores the magnitude of marine debris in the Hawaiian coast in the USA since the 1990s. The paper talks about the dynamics of water pollution specifically in the Pacific and delves into the details of each pollutant material disposed into the waters. …
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Marine Debris in the Hawaiian coast
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Download file to see previous pages Solid material found in the marine environment is called marine debris. The common misconception is that it involves just a few pieces of harmless rubbish scattered along the shores of the ocean. Plastics are the most common types of marine debris with at least two hundred and sixty seven species having suffered from either ingest5ion or entanglement with these items. 5the scale of contamination is quite high with many attempts to address the issue including legislations and campaigns.
There are various sources of marine debris all of which are categorized into four. First is tourist related litters that include beach toys, beverage packaging and cigarettes. The second category is sewage related debris including water from storm drains and water overflow from discharge waste during rainfall. Then there is fish related debris including fish pots, fishing lines and strapping bands from bait traps that are either lost in commercial fishing or dumped deliberately. The last category is waste from ships and boats that are mostly deliberately dumped (Laws, 2000:62).
Marine debris washes up almost on a daily basis on the Hawaiian shores. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the collection area of marine debris from the Pacific Ocean covering an area twice the size of USA. Currents, winds, and waves bring the debris to the Hawaiian island of Hawai`i, Kauai, Oahu, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Niihau, Molokai, and Maui as well as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Most of this debris is plastic hence do not biodegrade. Although plastic later photo degrades, the process creates smaller particles that form smaller particles of plastic, which pose potential harm to marine life (Andrady, 2003:241). Harm to marine life The harm to marine life is twofold through either entanglement or ingestion and other miscellaneous factors. Ingestion Marine debris poses so much harm on the marine environment. Researchers found that 100% of albatrosses feed their chicks plastic. The adult ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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