The German Naturschutzbund (“Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union”) or NABU launched “Seas without Plastic” project in 2010, and it is ongoing.
Once again this significant problem often remains unknown as its extent is largely hidden from view. However, more than ten million tonnes of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans every year!
While we can’t see this, the problem is catastrophic for sea birds (that eat plastic and build their nests plastic waste), turtles and dolphins (who become entangled in rope, cable, and plastic straps) as well as the problem of microplastic which floods the marine food web.
The problem effects all out oceans, but of concern for Germany is the extento of the problem in the North and Baltic Seas. Scientists estimate that at the bottom of the North Sea, alone, there is more than 600,000 cubic meters of waste.
To counter the problem, NABU organises clean-ups of beaches and river banks, and supports environment research and monitoring.
Importantly, however, a major component of the project is to advocate for better waste management at ports and the development of measures in coastal communities to prevent the entry of waste into the sea.
The focus of the project is the “Fishing for Litter” initiative which aims to help fishermen to remove waste from the sea.
Photo credit: “www.colourbox.com”. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from NABU.