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Lesson 13          

Why is there trash in the ocean and how did it get there?

People are responsible for marine debris:

Photo authorised: pixta_31000546_S
  When people mishandle trash, they find their way into the ocean, where it becomes marine debris. When people litter on the streets or anywhere they go, that trash may end up in the drains by rain or wind, where they may also eventually end up flowing into the ocean.

Rivers and Streams:

Photo authorised: pixta_10926314_S
  Some trash are dumped directly into rivers or streams, which can flow into larger bodies of water, such as the ocean. Other trash that are littered on the side of the road or even up in the mountains can be carried to the nearest river system by rain, wind, or flood, which may also flow into the ocean to become marine debris.

Oceans and Beaches:

Broken refrigerator
  People who live near the ocean may discard old or broken items such as TVs, refrigerators, or daily trash into the ocean illegally, out of convenience or because there is no appropriate place of disposal nearby.

Beach goers and families who go to the beach for fun may leave behind toys (beach balls, buckets, shovels, etc.), food wrappers, drink bottles, and other items that can end up in the ocean.

Derelict Fishing Gear:

  Any fishing gears, like fishing nets, fishing lines, ropes, crab cages, etc. that are abandoned in the ocean are known as derelict fishing gear. Out at sea, fisherman may leave or dump their old and broken fishing equipment in the ocean. Othertimes, nets and fishing lines get stuck on rocks and corals at the bottom of the ocean, so fishermen are unable to pull it back up and collect them.

These fishing nets that are abandoned in the ocean are called "ghost nets".


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