Debris and garbage in the oceans continues to increase and causes the most serious damage to marine wildlife. Every year millions of marine animals die worldwide because of this type of pollution. Some of this debris is left directly on the beach, but much of it originates as street litter from coastal and inland cities where it is washed down to the sea through storm water drains and rivers.

Plastics in particular can last in the ocean for years and are mostly not biodegradable. Eventually the sun's ultraviolet rays break down plastic into smaller pieces where they can end up very small but this breaking down process is very slow, allowing the garbage to continue to float around year after year. There are many different items which make up marine debris, ranging from large commercial fishing nets which can entangle and maim or kill animals, to small plastic bags that can be mistaken for food and ingested by marine life.

Inside of many marine animals and birds you will find chunks of plastic that has been ingested. Many times this will block the intestines and then kill the animal. Some debris, like discarded commercial fishing nets, can continue to kill for decades as the trapped animals attract predators, which can then become entangled themselves.

What can we do about it?

~ Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Choose to buy items with less packaging, which generates less trash.
~ Use reusable shopping bags.
Contact manufacturers to let them know that you want to see less packaging used with their products.
~ Dispose of the trash you do have correctly. Even if you live far from the ocean, trash can go to the ocean via rivers, causing damage and unsightliness along the way.
~ Recycle whenever possible.
~ Discard trash in closed containers.
~ Keep cutting up those six pack ring-holders. Even if you don't live near the ocean, this lowers the risk of entanglement to marine animals if the ring-holders do make it out to sea.
~ Take the time to retrieve broken fishing line because these are hazardous for wildlife.
~ Do not throw cigarette butts in the water or on beaches or in other areas where these may end up in the water. Marine birds or fish may eat them and become ill or die.
~ Pick up any litter that you may find in the water or along the shoreline and then dispose of it properly.
~ Participate in coastal and beach clean-up programs.
~ Avoid flushing items which are not easily biodegradable down the toilet.
~If you live near or visit an area which is affected, contact you local government to let them know of the problem and how it negatively affects your area. This will encourage possible legislative changes.
(List courtesy of

The video below shows a turtle who was caught up in discarded fishing net and was thankfully cut free by a good samaritan.

VIDEO Caring Man Rescues a Poor Turtle Stuck in a Net

Responses to "Sea turtle rescued and cut free from discarded fishing net (Video)"

  1. Chris says:

    That little turtle says thank you! And so do I......xo

Write a comment