15 December 2017

4 Animals Affected By Ocean Pollution

Ocean pollution is on the rise and with it, its infamy of being a killer to both marine and land animals. This is an issue that affects many ecosystems which will, in turn, cause many detrimental changes in our environment and lives. Here are four beloved animals that are being impacted by ocean pollution right now.

Sea Turtles
By now, many of us have seen the heart-wrenching video of the turtle with a plastic straw lodged in its nose, but so much more happens to our sea turtles that is causing devastation to their population. Due to ocean pollution, sea turtles often mistake tiny bits of plastic for food and consume them. This makes the turtles extremely ill and unable to accurately obtain food for their needed nutritional consumption. Moreover, many dead sea turtles have been found to have fibropapillomas from the ocean pollution surrounding them. This disease causes cauliflower-like tumors to appear on the turtle’s body often causing blindness, breathing problems, and organ dysfunction.

Science estimates there will soon be more plastic in our oceans than there will be fish. Fish impact a ton of ecosystems which in turn affect marine and land animals. Ocean animals often eat smaller fish, but most of the fish in our oceans are consuming plastic. This is detrimental to the health of thousands of animal species in our oceans. However, it doesn’t just stop there because humans are eating the same fish that are consuming plastic-- making the plastic consumed by us. Plastic is not biodegradable or digestible, which makes our bodies work harder to cope with the influx of plastic in us.

Seals and Sea Lions
We often see that fishing nets and lures are the ones to entangle seals and sea lions, but plastic is becoming a common killer. Seals and sea lions are often tangled in plastic, making it hard for them to escape or function properly. Over time, some of this plastic even gets embedded within the animal which creates health problems and eventually death.

An unlikely animal to see on this list, but birds are also falling prey to ocean pollution. Birds are also getting tangled in plastic or man-made debris while looking for food. Many birds are unable to get out of the water due to being trapped by the pollution or are consuming fish that have toxins in them from the plastic-- both resulting in premature death.

Do these facts surprise you? There is no better time than “now” to take action and help marine life and other animals affected by ocean pollution.