By Abdul Basit Issaka
The Sea Shepherd Society says people should dispose of their plastic waste responsibly as plastic is the largest pollutant of the ocean.
Speaking to The Bounce News after a clean-up campaign at Leighton Beach on Sunday, Sea Shepherd’s Marina Hansen said three out of four items of marine debris collected this year is made of plastic.
Ms Hansen said this is because it is light and when littered, it can easily be blown or washed away into the ocean.
She said the Sea Shepherd ocean clean-up campaign has been launched nationally, and there are currently 17 teams involved, including two teams in Perth helping to clean up the beaches.
Ms Hansen, the Society’s Perth Coordinator, said the public response has so far been good with many children, teenagers and grandparents participating in the campaign.
Georgie Dicks, a marine activist with Sea Shepherd, said people tend to focus more on land pollution to the detriment of the sea.
Ms Dicks said when the sea is contaminated, it not only affects marine life but it also affects every human being.
“Fifty to sixty percent of oxygen comes from the ocean and killing the ocean is just like killing our lungs.” she said.
She said sea organisms such as phytoplankton and microscopic algae contribute to the production of the oxygen that we breath.
“As an ocean lover I am passionate about marine life, this is the fifth time that I’m participating in a beach clean-up and it looks as if ocean pollution is getting worse,” she said.
She said since she joined the campaign the number of volunteers has increased which is a good sign that people are realising the importance of the ocean.
The Sea Shepherd organisation has long been a champion of non-violent direct action in defence of the world’s oceans.