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Ocean Dumping: Issues, Legalities, Laws

What were the key issues, with respect to ocean dumping? And what's your position?

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OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Ocean Dumping: Key Issues

Marine debris is the official designation and referents to human created wastes that pollutes and are dumped deliberately or accidentally in lakes, waterways, seas and oceans. While certain debris naturally float on bodies of water (i.e. logs and trees that got cut via natural events), certain communities, peoples and industries the world over deliberately dump debris and garbage in bodies of water without much thought into the effects of such acts in relation to threats to animals (fish, sea mammals, birds, reptiles) their habitats, coastal habitations and to human industries that depend on the bounty of the sea (i.e. fishing). Of late the greatest threat are the toxins released via the practice of ocean dumping which can destroy so easily fragile ocean habitats. Plastic and styrofoams, being non-biodegrable cannot breakdown and affect ocean and water inhabitants in so many ways - accumulated debris prevents photolysis, a component in photosynthesis killing marine life. Ghost nets and accumulated plastic as well as unique debris like six-pack rings can entangle marine life and result to movement restriction which can lead to starvation, laceration, infection and eventually, death. Dugongs, dolphins, sharks, reptiles, sea turtles and all sorts of fish can easily get entangled with ghost nets. Plastic bags and plastic pellets - the broken down versions of plastics via weathering clog the digestive tract of marine animals and where they pool, prevent photolysis as well. It does not help that the smaller pellets, known as nurdles resemble fish eggs. Populations of fish and sea mammals often mistake them for fish eggs and their ingestion result to death.

Ever since man started sailing, the ocean has become a dumping ground for debris and materials. Greenpeace estimates that annually, containers ships lose about 10,000 containers while at sea. Adding to marine debris is the runoff from landfills & storm drains. The danger in the toxic contamination via ocean dumping can be seen in varied incidents in the Arctic Sea. In the 50's Russia dumped highly radioactive materials in their own part of the Arctic - the Barents Karas Sea but the toxicity spread through the rich fishing grounds of the international and ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a 1,564-word essay that looks at the key issues in relation to the practice of/problem of Ocean Dumping (pollution). The effects of Ocean dumping is listed and the dilemma of authorized or legal ocean dumping by several countries is also explored. US Laws applicable to or in relation to Ocean dumping are listed but focuses on the Ocean Dumping Act, following all amendments to 2010 from its enactment in 1988. The essay follows the APA-format. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing and download.