Plastic pollution is a major problem in our oceans and research shows that this plastic pollution is killing sharks, like many other marine animals.
There are a number of ways that plastic pollution can affect sharks. One way is through ingestion. Sharks often mistake plastic for food, and when they eat it, the plastic can block their digestive systems and lead to starvation. In addition, plastic can contain harmful chemicals that can accumulate in the sharks' bodies and cause health problems.
Research has shown that 67% of sharks are contaminated with plastic, meaning they were found to have microplastics and other man-made fibers in their digestive system.
Another way that plastic pollution can affect sharks is through entanglement. Sharks can become entangled in plastic nets, bags, and other debris. This can restrict their movement, make it difficult for them to breathe, and even lead to death.
Scientists estimate that 100 million sharks die every year from becoming entangled in commercial shipping nets. *These nets are usually made from nylon, a type of plastic.
How much plastic pollution is in the ocean?
According to the World Economic Forum, there are an estimated 150 million tons of plastic in the ocean today. This number is expected to double by 2030 if we don't take action to reduce plastic pollution.
What can we do to help sharks?
There are a number of things that we can do to help sharks.
Reduce our use of single-use plastics. This includes things like plastic bags, straws, and water bottles.
Recycle plastic (properly) whenever possible, and avoid throwing plastic into the ocean.
Support organizations that are working to reduce plastic pollution.
Educate others about the problem of plastic pollution and the effects it has on sharks. We can talk to our friends and family about the issue, and encourage them to reduce their use of plastic. We can also write to our elected officials and urge them to take action to reduce plastic pollution. Start a writing campaign to send letters to plastic producers.
Together, we can make a difference for sharks and the ocean.