Dolphins tackle the plastic crisis
It is estimated that more than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year.
Plastic pollution not only impacts our waters and marine life but it also impacts the human food chain, and therefore our overall health.
The threat from plastic waste is not limited to pieces that are visible – bottles, bags and other plastic items break down into minute fragments, known as “micro-plastics”, which enter the food chain in every corner of the ocean. Even in the remote waters of Antarctica, scientists have found evidence of plastic killing and harming seabirds.
However, emerging research suggests that marine life are fighting back. Dolphins, a widely distributed and diverse group of aquatic mammal have been spotted collecting plastic bottles (amongst other debris) from the ocean and pushing them together to create a mosaic of ‘mini islands’. In some areas these mini islands span over 1 kilometre. Marine scientists aren’t sure why these highly intelligent marine mammals are doing this but some believe that they are perhaps taking action against the man made waste problem. Another theory is that the Dolphins are doing this in order to “herd” fish into traps cleverly nestled within the mini islands.
Either way, could this be the answer to the plastic pollution problem?