Most people are already used to seeing the countless pictures of what was absolutely pristine, gorgeous beaches used as trash cans with mountains of plastic on them. They are everywhere; we are easily able to see the amount of trash that we are leaving on our beach, but now we are starting to see what trash lays under the ocean. We are finally starting to take a look at what our human impact is doing underneath the waves!
Marine litter is some of the most readily visible trash to the public; it is estimated that we dump up to 6.4 million tons of litter into the ocean every day. Some of the most frequent pieces of trash are usually fishing equipment. Some of the most peculiar pieces of trash have been found at depths of up to 7,216 meters deep as well as marine protected areas that are restricted from the general public.
This raises the concern of ghost fishing and other unsustainable methods of fishing that heavily contribute to the build-up of plastic and other waste in our environment. It has been shown that up to 90% is lost or abandoned fishing gear. Our ocean faces several threats including deoxygenation, warming, and increased ocean acidification.