Underwater Garbage Pollution

Underwater Garbage Pollution may be an unfamiliar phrase, but 'garbage dumping' is one of the biggest contributions to the pollution of our oceans.

The mindless dumping of garbage results from human beings that dump harmful and/or waste materials into the waterways and oceans.

The rubbish dumped can come from sewage, waste water from bathing, general garbage items and especially plastic.

Ocean Pollution

Mother Nature can also influence the pollution of our oceans. Heavy rains and floods can cause sewage pipes to overflow for example, which can make its way into rivers and other waterways and then eventually into the ocean.

Underwater garbage dumping and sewage pollution have catastrophic effects on the natural environment and to the earth's sea life, causing diseases, beach closures and death to animals and fish.

Sea turtles naturally eat jellyfish and a plastic bag looks and behaves very similar to a jellyfish. The turtle would think that the plastic is food and many die from suffocation after eating floating plastic garbage in our seas and oceans.

Underwater Oil Pollution

Pollution from oil has serious consequences for the ocean and environment. Estimations show that each year, more than forty million gallons of oil spill into the ocean accidentally by oil tankers.

However, even more oil from non-accidental sources, culminate in more than 60 million gallons of underwater oil pollution every year. The 'sticky' effect of oil tends to glue the feathers of birds and other wildlife, it clogs the gills of fish, and a large oil slick can block out natural sunlight.

This lack of sunlight causes plants to suffer because they struggle to perform their normal photosynthesis below the slick. Underwater oil pollution also affects the growth and reproduction of the world's coral reefs because coral is especially sensitive to crude oil.

Toxic Pollution

Toxic waste is another serious cause of pollution. Poisonous waste and materials can harm humans, animals, and fish. You may question why toxic waste pollution in the ocean is also harmful to human life.

The impact on our health stems from the food chain. We may eat affected plants and animals and the results can be deadly. Fish can become toxic from the pollution and we eat seafood, which can then enter the human food chain.

How does toxic waste end up in the ocean? The answer is simple. Mining, landfills, and farms all potentially produce toxic waste products that can leak into our waterways and land mass, causing possible health problems to humans and fatal consequences to marine animals.

Carbon Dioxide Pollution

How does Carbon Dioxide Pollution harm our ocean life? During the previous two hundred years, the earth's oceans have absorbed near to 50 percent of the waste gas that humans have produced. The figure is staggering, approximately 120 billion metric tons of the stuff.

Oceans gather Carbon Dioxide from the motion of the currents. Pulled down by deep-water currents from the surface, polluted air traps CO2 in the ocean. This pollution harms the coral reefs and free-swimming algae.

Although Carbon Dioxide pollution threatens much of our ocean life, the species that exists near to the surface suffer the most. This is mainly due to the way in which the currents gather the gases from our atmosphere.

Industry, vehicle exhaust systems, boat gases, and agricultural machinery, continuously pump dangerous carbons into the air above the seas and oceans. We further explain how coal burning power stations impact on the environment causes coral reef destruction.

Picture of Estimated Decomposition Rates for Common Marine Debris

https://blog.padi.com/scuba-diving-hand-signals/The Plastic Soup Foundation created the new diving hand signal to raise awareness about the massive problem with plastic. PADI and the PADI AWARE Foundation encourage all divers to use this new hand signal and post pictures and stories on social media using #PforPlastic.
Sadly, our oceans and waterways are full of plastics. If nothing changes, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.
Encourage friends and family members to say “no” to single-use plastics such as straws, cutlery, and plastic bottles. Consider sharing some of these striking statistics from National Geographic:
Nearly half of all plastic ever made was manufactured between 2000 – 2018
40% of plastic produced is used only once
Approximately 1 million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute around the world
Planet earth needs its human citizens to go on a plastic diet. On average, each person in Europe creates 31 kilos of plastic waste yearly. The United States uses around 25 billion styrofoam cups every year and 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.A staggering amount of plastic waste ends up in our oceans. PADI AWARE Foundation has an interactive Dive Against Debris® map that allows anyone to see the amount of plastic rubbish collected in your local area and around the world. Experts estimate it’s likely only nine percent of all plastic ever made has been recycled.
Underwater, divers have to use our hands to communicate, but topside we can be the voice for the ocean. Read more about the new scuba hand signal at The Plastic Soup Foundation website.
Want to use your newly learned scuba diving hand signal? Sign up for a Dive Against Debris course, and put your P for Plastic hand signal to good use!

Join the PADI Torchbearertm movement of divers protecting our ocean planet and making every dive count.

Hot Topics |> Artificial Reefs |> Coral Bleaching |> Environmental Impact of Coal Power Plants |> Coral Diseases |

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