Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Don’t eat fish at all says some experts concerned with the consumption of plastics . Do we want to eat plastics? Hell No! We know that the fish we eat are eating the fish that eat plastic floating in the oceans. Our government has 13 employees working on the problem. Really!
For those of us who look to the sea as an escape from the cares of the world; where it seems the sea reaches the sky when the ocean color meshes with the color of the sky, yes, one can feel free. But not when you look into the sea and find floating garbage and plastic all around your boat.
“The sea vast and wild as it is , bears the waste and wrecks of human arms to its remotest shores” naturalist Henry David Thorough
He wrote this about 150 years ago and we proved him right unfortunately.
Today the oceans are floating junkyards to the extent that is beyond the imagination. Currently in the North Pacific Ocean there is a swirling sewer of floating plastic the size of Texas. A dispersed soup of trash so now we can all it the Synthetic Sea. Not funny!
In the 1950’s everyone promoted the product of the future. Plastics! It is light weight, it is cheap and so durable, it lasts FOREVER and they were right. Who knew then that practically every produce we use has plastics in them and that no one would have a sure plan for its recycling and disposal. I blame the negligence on manufacturers of products and on any world government.
We recycle a little bit of it but the rest goes either into a landfill or into an even bigger graveyard, the oceans. There are 250million Tons per year of the stuff being disposed of somewhere on earth. There are floating small bits of plastic everywhere. They even call the place ‘The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” They are in all of the earth’s oceans where the currents tend to accumulate.
There are 5 swamps of floating plastic in all of the world’s oceans. Yes, in the North Pacific, North Atlantic, South Pacific, South Atlantic and Indian Ocean. There is a Foundation that study’s the problem called the California Resource Recovery Association. Just crumble up a Styrofoam cup and see those tiny pellets that float and fish consume.
Why buy Mylar balloons to release into the air to express your freedom of sorts when you can release butterflies or even fireflies or ladybugs that won’t harm the environment?
As the plastics do break down into pellets the birds and fish get fooled into eating this stuff. Abandoned fishing nets are also trapping and killing millions of fish each year.
So, what can we do? Aside from putting stuff in the recycling trash bins nothing but we can put pressure on the plastic producers to pay for the recovery of the recycling of their own packaging. There is a green dot program that is already in place in 29 European countries.
In America, Nancy Wallace is the Director of the Marine Debris Program and is the one person that represents our governments response to the problem. Her job is part of NOAH the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is not a very big program. She gets only $4 Million dollars appropriated each year. There are only 13 people employed on this project.
They have a lot of work to do starting with research. They need to figure out how much debris the fish are really ingesting. What they have done is managed to get with the fish making net industry Kovanta and Schnister Steel to provide places on ports where fishermen can have a recycling place where they can drop off their old nets and gear rather than just throw the junk overboard.
All I know is that it is a disgusting situation that more people should care about and demand results from their candidates in politics to be the voice of the oceans to have manufacturers of the plastics to do more to keep the stuff being melted down again instead of just tossed.

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