Impact of Plastic Pollution on Marine Biodiversity: Current Situation and Way Forward

Fig. 1: Plastic pollution in Indian Ocean (Source:

Anthropogenic activities are able to alter the usual functioning of our Earth-system in ways that intensify risks to humanities world-wide (Steffen et al. 2015). About 80% of the marine debris are derived from land-based sources include trash, litter and debris from commercial facilities, industries, garbage containers, construction facilities, ports and marinas, trucks and landfills (Plastic Debris Project 2005). Based on the recent data, globally around 267 species have been affected, which includes 43% of marine mammal species, 44% of seabird species and 84% of sea turtle species- but there could be possibly many more (Laist 1997). Seabirds which are of surface feeders in the ocean are consuming plastics that float, and following that they feed those plastics to their chicks. Recent investigation found that around 98% of chicks sampled having plastics, and that the amount was increasing over a period of time (Auman et al. 1997). And even the deepest sea creatures cannot escape from plastic pollution. Recently, scientific studies have proved that plastics are the potential global boundary threat. Hence management of aquatic plastic pollution is vital to conserve the nature for future generations to live healthy.

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