Ancient times witnessed the pure pristine beauty of nature. There were no pollutants to degrade the value of our idyllic ecosystems. Be it air, water or soil, everything was pure and helped in maintaining life, thereby maintaining the balance of our ecological community.
As the years advanced, mankind started making its mark in all fields. Technology made rapid and bold advancements, and today though we are at the frontiers of advancement, technology and industrialization have unfortunately become a necessary evil. For every step forward, be it in the fields of science, art, technology, art or health, man has become his own foe. The impact of this modernization has an alarming impact on the environment. Not all the material that we use is bio-degradable. Some, like plastic, stay in the environment for years to come causing incomprehensible damage. When dumped in the ocean the same plastic either falls to the ocean floor or remains afloat like plastic bags. Marine plastic pollution has impacted at last 267 species worldwide as a result of ingestion, starvation suffocation, infection, drowning and entanglement.
Let us discuss the impact of plastic pollution on marine life.
Effects of plastic pollution on marine life:
- Various birds get confused with floating plastic material and think of them as food. While trying to eat it, they either choke on it and die or while trying to ingest it.
- Plastic has been found in nearly every level of the oceanic food chain. From large predators like sharks and whales to turtles and jellyfish, no animal is safe from accidental ingestion. Even plankton, the tiniest of marine organisms have ingested plastic.
- 50-80% of all sea turtles were found dead because of ingested plastic.
- Various species of whales are becoming extinct because of plastic pollution.
- Plastic debris is also polluting the human food chain. Fish which ingest plastic toxic fragments are further being ingested by humans, thereby affecting our physical well-being.
How do we save our Marine life?
It is becoming more and more apparent that there is a dire need to make global changes. We need to reduce the use of plastic and use only bio-degradable, bio-friendly material.
In order to reduce the amount of plastic already present in the ocean, a 12-year old boy from Pune, Haaziq Kazi, has designed a ship named “Ervis” which helps clean up the oceans and save marine life. This machine sucks in the water from oceans and segregates marine life and waste material. The marine life along with the filtered water is sent back into the ocean, while the waste is further segregated into 5 parts. A sensor fitted in the ship does this segregation according to the size of the waste material. Other sensors detect marine life and water and separate them for the waste.
This is an incredible attempt by a small boy to ensure conservation of marine species and in turn, is creating awareness about the ill-effects of ocean plastic pollution and ways to prevent it. Loss of marine life upsets the balance of all ecological systems.
People need to start taking drastic steps in this direction in order to bring back our idyllic ecosystem.