The vast and vibrant array of animals that populate the world’s oceans is difficult to comprehend, made up of a rich and fascinating tapestry of life, from the tiny plankton milling about in the currents to the colossal blue whale who scoops them up in the thousands. Every member of this marine community has a part to play in keeping a calm balance in this most fragile of ecosystems.
However, the balance has been tipping towards disaster for some years, and a recent study published by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity has uncovered that the number of species physically affected by plastic pollution has risen drastically to 817, a terrifying statistic and an unimaginable number of animals ingesting quantities of plastic, displaced from their homes or entangled to meet a slow and painful end, and the number keeps going up.
It seems that there is no escape from the microplastics that are now present in all marine habitats, from the ocean surface to the seabed, and the constant threat of entanglement in ghost nets thrown overboard by fishermen to avoid disposal fees is ever present.
The pressure of expensive costs to properly dispose of enormous nets that are no longer serving their purpose pushes desperate fishermen to abandon them at sea, some of which reach across vast stretches of water, ensnaring all sorts of wildlife as they’re left behind in a sinister sort of suspended animation.