Despite a greater understanding of our actions and repeated talk about commitment to improve from the world’s governments, our oceans are still under threat from pollution. It’s a problem that needs to be dealt with via the utmost urgency, but the harsh truth is that nowhere near enough has been done or indeed is being done. Here are five issues that need to be at the very top of the agenda.
The threat to sea birds
Ocean pollution is threatening the very existence of many species of sea birds. These wonderful creatures rely on clean waters and a balanced eco-system to find food, but more and more of them are falling victim to contaminated fish. More than a million sea birds die every year because of ocean pollution, a figure that tells you all you need to know about the urgency that’s required.
The effects of chemical contamination
The global shipping industry has taken great steps to improve things in recent times, but plenty more still needs to be done. By introducing robust marine fuel testing programmes, they can help to ensure the oceans are able to recover from the effects of the past. This really is a must-have for the future of our planet.
Initiate a major clean-up
It goes without saying that a clean-up is needed in our oceans, and it needs to be done on a very large scale. Because of the size of the task in hand, international cooperation will be needed – this is a task that no single country will be able to perform to the required standard. If we manage to get the job done, marine fuel testing and other measures will help to keep the seas cleaner in the future.
Don’t look the other way
Because we don’t see most of the rubbish that has been dumped in the ocean, there is a tendency to ignore the seriousness of the problem. When the occasional few items are washed ashore, we tend to tut in disappointment, but the truth is that huge swathes of garbage are floating around our oceans all the time. Out of sight, out of mind is not an adequate excuse for not paying attention to the problem.
Time to act quickly
Much of the contamination is caused by toxic chemicals, and these can have a devastating effect on the ocean’s delicate eco-system. We are losing various species of fish, crustaceans, coral and birds on an annual basis, and that means something needs to be done right now.