The thought of “Ocean Pollution” elicits scalding images of turtles and birds being choked to death because they unknowingly consumed plastic bags that litter the surface of rivers, seas and lakes. Now, research has revealed that not only is the surface of water bodies severely polluted, but even the sea beds are in equal disarray. The full impact of this is yet to unfold, and it is only with time that the full-blown propensity of the situation can be fully judged. Susan von Thun, who works at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute(MBARI), based in Monterey, California, attests this fact. She says that such trends are completely changing the natural environment in such a way that is too early to assess. Yet the change is unalterable.
For almost 22 years now, the researchers of this institute have investigated the sea beds from Canada to California, and even the Hawaiian off-shore. They have captured video clips of the sea beds, and documented as many as 1500 waste items that have been deposited on the floor over a prolonged period of time. The researchers analyzed the data that they had gathered. Other than debris, the most common thing that was found on the sea floors were various plastic, or polythene bags and products. The results have been shocking in fact. Video stills taken in the sea bed off the coast of Oregon show that deep-sea coral present at a depth of 7000 feet have been entangled by black plastic bags around its roots, which will eventually result in its death.
The other items that were observed were metal trash products like food cans and soda cans. Glass bottles, wood, clothing, cardboard pieces, ropes from fishing equipments were also found. With the publication of these data, the researchers hope that they can influence people to reuse and recycle things rather than disposing them off after only one use.
The only way in which the full onset of hazardous environmental conditions can be avoided is by sensitizing the common man about the perils of his actions, so that there is a conscious effort to curb such habits.