Pollution of the oceans
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The Whale is under threat by humans for several reasons. Despite the fact that whale hunting has decreased considerably over the past centuries, whale hunting is still going on.
Plastic in the oceans
In fact, last summer Japan announced to reopen the hunt for the largest mammals that have ever lived. In addition to direct hunting, many whales die as bycatch in fishermen’s nets.
But whales have another big problem to struggle with. This sculpture by Tim Boin symbolizes a threat that may not be immediately visible, but no less threatening: the pollution of the oceans. In recent years, many washed up whales appeared in the media. Often, they had such large quantities of plastic in their stomachs that they could no longer digest their food.
These kinds of incidents occur more and more often and are a serious indication of the extent of the problem with waste in the oceans. Whales aren’t the only creatures at risk. The massive pollution is a menace for the majority of life in the oceans.
There are many different types of pollution. Seawater is polluted on a large scale and this pollution comes in different sorts and shapes. The most visible form is waste. Almost all waste that isn’t processed properly ends up in the ocean. Particularly waste that decays slowly, such as plastic, has a major impact on the health of our seas. The most visible form of pollution is the so-called Plastic Soup. Seas and ocean currents flow in circular movements and carry waste with them. Because of these circular currents (mainly plastic) waste concentrates in certain areas. This leads to enormous clouds of plastic in these places. The best known and largest of these is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Researchers estimate that this ‘waste soup’ is so large, it’s three times the surface of France.
But our seas are not just threatened by plastic waste. Damage is also caused by sewerage, irresponsibly farmed fish, oil spillage, chemical pollution and waste in the form of pesticides and fertilizer after use in agriculture. Until fifty years ago it was assumed that the ocean was so big that the dumping of waste and chemical substances could not do much harm. Now we know better and there are laws to protect the ocean. Unfortunately, this does not alter the fact that the concentration of waste in the oceans increases every day.