Plastic pollution threatening aquatic life
April 3rd, 2018 | No Comments
Freshwater fishes are now the most threatened set of marine life. Most of the threats to freshwater fishes along with other freshwater biological diversity is habitat modification, destruction, overfishing, forestry practice, climate change and water pollution. The rising trend of use of plastic bags, especially possess a huge threat to marine life. The issue of plastic pollution along costal sides of Pakistan is worsening day by day because of insufficient solid waste disposal system. Plastic itself is a threat to environment and ecosystem, especially when enters the water become menace to marine life due to their non-degradable nature. Various studies have shown that marine life is trapped by plastic products in sea is increasing. Estimates shows that globally about 8 million tons of plastic related products are intentionally dumped into the sea or find its way there through wind and river flow which is roughly equivalent to the throwing garbage truck into aquatic life every single minute. Discussing the situation at Karachi, about 12,000 tons of garbage is generated per day out of which only 40 percent is collected and taken to waste yard while the remaining garbage mainly reaches different “nallas’ which ultimately enters into lakes, streams and rivers and creating problems. Entanglement of marine life especially shark fish and giant catfish by plastic stripping is very common which pierced the flesh of the fish that caused severe laceration and inflammation and finally caused the mortality of the fish. As per the study of WWF- Pakistan 65 percent of garbage that litter along Pakistan’s costal consist of plastics including mineral water bottles, polythene bags, balloons, wrappers, shoes, caps, discarded utensils, Styrofoam and unwanted fishing nets. Numbers of available records indicate that marine life became entangled in moving plastics which leads to injury and sometimes even death. It is a time to give a serious thought towards the impeding plastic pollution by which marine life and its ecosystem is confronted. Dumping plastic products in terrestrial and marine environment is continuously becoming a threat to aquatic life which needs dire attention and efforts to control this pollution. It is a time to create awareness among the general public about narrowing their use of plastic which take hundreds of years to decompose in daily chores and go for the use of recyclable material. The authorities at government and private level have initiated several steps for improvement, but it seems a distant dream. There is no dearth of policies or laws in favor of marine life and banning the use of plastic products as much as possible, but implementation and execution of such laws by relevant quarters and public cooperation in true letter and spirit is missing. The current environmental situation at coastal areas of Pakistan specially at Karachi which is gradually increasing to other areas, cannot be improved without public awareness and effective implementation of prevailing laws. As well, there is dire need of political will to combat the obstacles and difficulties to change this situation. It is needed to implement the ‘polluters pay principle’ by involving stakeholders. Public should also be strictly banned from throwing waste near shores so that marine life can be free from such hazards. Averting the deprivation of coastal ecosystems is a shared responsibility, not that of Karachi residents alone. As a nation we have to take collective responsibility for polluting marine life. The use of plastic products must be stopped at the source.
Published in: Volume 09 Issue 11
Short Link: https://www.technologytimes.pk/?p=22365