Today we have focused on UN’s goal number 14 – Life below water. We read a text about some of the consequences of ocean pollution, and we also watched a documentary about a dead “plastic whale” found in Bergen. I have been asked to answer the following question in regards to this issue:
- Discuss the problems life under water is currently facing.
Due to the great use of plastic in our everyday life, both the wildlife and plants underwater have suffered. Many whales and underwater mammals in general, have been found with both internal and external damages. For example, the plastic whale from the documentary had around 30 plastic bags in his stomach and therefore died of starvation. In addition, plants at the bottom of the food chain in the ocean are filled with microplastic, something which leads to us also eating it since we eat the fish who consume these plants. But it is not just plastic that is the problem; oil and chemical spills, truck and car pollution, factory pollution and overfishing also play a huge role when it comes to this issue.
2. Reflect on the impact this documentary had on you
This documentary really opened my eyes to the reality of what happens to life down below us. Before this, I never really paid much attention to this topic, neither did I know how dangerous and life-threatening it actually is. I started to understand how the little things that we do add up to make enormous consequences, and it’s scary to think that millions of people still do not know anything about this problem. I am an animal-lover, therefore it was extremely heartbreaking to see an innocent whale suffering because of selfish humans. The only good thing about this incident is that it was a wake-up call for the whole world, meaning that maybe now we can finally do something about it.
3. Do you think it will help the oceans that we put more focus on this problem?
I think if we give this issue the attention that it truly needs and deserves, more and more people around the world will be aware of what is happening. This again will lead to us being more wary of our actions and maybe try and fix it in a way. Already, volunteer groups have been trying to clear away plastic from beaches, fjords, and oceans in general because they know that if we do not do anything about it, there will be more plastic than fish in the water by 2050. After the Bergen incident, news reporters all over the world were talking about it, raising awareness. This is, for the most part, a good start.
4. What are you most likely to do in order to preserve our oceans, and what do you think others should do?
I have never been the person who thoughtlessly threw away things wherever I wanted. At home, my family already has recycling bins which we use every day, and we always try to reuse plastic boxes etc. I, for example, reused a small plastic box for my Q-tips. Whenever we need something from the grocery store, my mother always takes her own (material) shopping bag so that she will not need the plastic ones.
Just because there still are people who care so much about the environment and try their best to damage it in the smallest possible way, does not mean that everyone will be bothered to change their daily habits. To make it easier, I believe we should have recycling bins all around town, and also in schools. Everyone should be educated on this topic so that they realize how serious it is and what it could do to us and nature in the future.