But ocean plastics pose a threat to a wide variety of marine animals, and their risk is determined by the amount of debris an animal encounters, as well as the size and shape of the debris.
“…a growing body of evidence suggests that our casual attitude about waste
may be reshaping the way the natural world functions across much of the planet, inadvertently subsidizing some opportunistic predators and thus contributing to the decline of other species, including some that are threatened or endangered.”
“There is no need to kill whales in the name of research,” he added. “Non-lethal research techniques are the most effective and efficient method of studying all cetaceans.”
David Lusseau, senior lecturer in Marine Top Predator Biology at the University of Aberdeen, told IBTimes UK this does appear to be the largest whale stranding for any type of baleen whales. He said: “I do not know of other events with such large numbers of individuals involved. Seeing multiple sei whales stranded together in clusters is beyond the ordinary.”
The ocean sink for carbon won’t be able to keep up with what humans and nature are emitting. “Carbon emissions from fossil-fuel burning is far greater than capacity of oceans to take it up. We are sort of doubling the carbon in the atmosphere on a time scale of 100 years,” he said. “The carbon uptake into the ocean is on the scale of 1,000 years or 10,000 years.”
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“… the latest pH level readings from the world’s oceans indicate that these ancient pH levels have recently dropped to an average of 8.1. As the ocean becomes more acidic, the life cycles of marine organisms, especially zooplankton primarily found in surface waters and at the lower end of the food chain, could be affected.”
Reading about ocean plastic makes one marvel at what man has wrought. According to National Geographic, trash from North America makes a mighty six-year voyage to reach “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” where it hooks up with trash from Asia. Ocean currents form these areas of spinning debris that researchers are only now starting to measure.
This video follows the more recent studies of how whales impact the overall health of the oceans.