A few days back, we told you how corals are dying in the sea mainly due to water pollution and presence of microplastic waste in seawater. Now, a new study has found that only corals are not at risk, giant sea creatures like sharks and whales might also go extinct if steps are not taken immediately to stop water pollution.
A study published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution has found that giant sea creatures like whales and sharks are swallowing huge amounts of microplastic on a daily basis. This phenomenon, if continues at the same rate or increases may not only harm their overall health and wellbeing, but it may also lead to a decline in their population.
Microplastics that come not only from industries but common household items like exfoliating soaps and toothpaste as well. As large sea creatures like sharks and whales are filter feeders, they consume large quantities of small prey like krill, copepods, fish eggs, etc. by straining them out of the water.
As water pollution is reaching new high levels every day, the large creatures unknowingly swallow loads of microplastics that are no bigger than the minuscule planktons that they feed on. Data reveals that whale sharks that feed in Sea of Cortez might ingest around 200 pieces of plastic daily while whales in the Mediterranean Sea might swallow approximately 2,000 particles daily.
Hazardous for Marine Creatures
As plastics usually contain toxic substances like heavy metals and phthalates, scientists are worried about the effects of these toxins on sea creatures. According to an expert, plastic might have multiple health effects on sea creatures. Sometimes they can alter hormones that regulate growth and development of the body while other times they may damage metabolism or reproductive systems of sea creatures. Microplastics can also accumulate within the body of sea creatures and prevent them from absorbing essential nutrients. Sometimes, these plastics can also be deadly!
In France, about 1,764 pounds of plastic was found in whale carcass while in Germany, 13 dead sperm whales washed up on a coast. They all had plastics and other hazardous stuff in their stomach.
It’s Time to Take Action
The threat of extinction will loom over whales and sharks until humans learn to dispose of their waste responsibly and efficiently. In case you are worried about the impact of water pollution in your household, commercial establishment or industrial unit, you should contact AMPAC USA. We have technologically advanced water filters that can make water from any source pure by trapping microplastics in its filters. Ring us now to know more!