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News and Opinion

Coverage of ocean pollution since December 15, 2020.

Vancouver smokers urged to butt out safely amid persistent drought

"...Meanwhile, the University of British Columbia's Juan José Alava, has a different concern about tossed butts: ocean pollution. The marine eco-toxicologist, who works at UBC's Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, said more than 7,000 chemical compounds make up a cigarette and the butts take about 30 years to break down. “While they are in the environment they can really be impacting microorganisms or invertebrate fish and even frogs,” he explained..."


The ocean’s kelp forests are worth serious coin

"...“These values are really helpful for policy decision-making or a cost-benefit analysis around the restoration or preservation of kelp systems,” Hessing-Lewis said, adding without such economic evaluation, there’s the risk of undervaluing kelp. As the climate crisis advances, a lot of recent research is focused on kelp forests’ role as a carbon sink, she said. The recent study estimates kelp forests collectively remove at least 4..."


Toilet paper toxin found in endangered killer whales, say B.C. researchers

"...A news release from UBC said one of the most common pollutants found in the killer whales' bodies was 4-nonylphenol, which is often found in toilet paper and can influence the nervous system..."


Microplastics are an Okanagan problem too

"...“When we hear about plastic pollution we sometimes associate it with a problem that is far away,” like the garbage patch or some other headline grabbing ocean pollution, says Ryan Cope, project manager for Microplastics Okanagan, the organization behind the study.  ..."


Beluga whales ingest as many as 145,000 particles of microplastics a year: SFU study

"...Researchers still don't know how long microplastics stay in the digestive tracts of animals, Moore added, or the degree of harm they can cause to overall whale health. Peter Ross, study co-author and a senior scientist at the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, said the report is evidence that serious action is needed to reduce ocean pollution. “This study adds to our long list of pollutants that end up in the Arctic, and highlights the need for urgent action to stem the release of plastics and microplastics in the more densely populated south,” he said in the news release..."


Combating maritime litter

"...Plastic bottles drifting in the sea; bags in the stomachs of turtles; Covid-19 masks dancing in the surf: few images are as unpleasant to look at as those that show the contamination of our oceans. And few environmental issues are as urgent and as present in the public awareness. "Most people have an emotional connection to the sea..."


Offering a Taste of an Earth-Friendlier Way

"...“I realized that every problem I was seeing with the oceans was somehow tied to our food system,” said Miller in an interview with The Narwhal. “I’ve done work now on underwater noise and obviously that’s directly related to our global economy and how we’re shipping products around the world. ”..."


LETTER – It's time for the salmon farm industry to quit dragging its heels and accept the federal ruling

"...Unfortunately, by the later decades of the 20th Century, there was already enough over-fishing, ocean pollution, global warming, dam construction and poor forestry practices to have a drastic impact on salmon health and population. It’s unthinkable to me that at the same time, when such an iconic species was already being so negatively impacted, a foreign creature would be introduced and farmed in our waters. Unfortunately, our governments allowed salmon farming to grow to such an extent that now the industries’ employees, as quoted in the Comox Valley Record Feb..."


Clean Up The Oceans

"...Would you like to learn about water systems and how you can take positive action to protect the oceans? Join Sea Smart to learn about and test your knowledge about ocean pollution! An extra device for Kahoot is recommended. Suitable for ages 7 and up. Hosted by the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre..."


Catalyst transforms plastic waste to valuable ingredients at low temperature

"...For the first time, researchers have used a novel catalyst process to recycle a type of plastic found in everything from grocery bags and food packaging to toys and electronics into liquid fuels and wax..."



"...Okinawa was an interesting place to carry out this study. A small, subtropical island in southern Japan, it is surrounded by fringing coral reefs, which means that the ocean around the beaches is reliant on surface water and wind. It has also been deemed a 'blue zone' - a region whose residents are exceptionally long-lived..."


Recommended Reading

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Informative Video

Discussions, Documentaries, and Investigative Reports about ocean pollution.

What impact could bioplastic make on ocean pollution? Sponsored by Dow

"...This session will focus on the importance and future of bioplastics, and will ask what impact it could have on marine pollution. " ..."


This Mutant Super-Enzyme Can Eat Plastic Waste Within Days

"...Are plastic-eating bacteria the solution to ocean pollution? It’s not that simple, science shows..."


Academic Research

Recent peer-reviewed papers about ocean pollution relevant to the latest news.

Current Problems of the World Ocean Pollution by Microplastic

"...It is shown that the longevity of microplastics, combined with the lack of effective recycling facilities, has made marine plastics and microplastics a global problem..."


Current Problems of the World Ocean Pollution by Oil and Oil Products

"...The information on the World ocean pollution by oil and oil products is given, the dynamics of their distribution depending on the oil and oil products composition is shown..."


General Concepts of Pollution and Pollutants and Their Nature (Natural and Man-Made Sources of Pollution of the World?s Oceans)

"...Modern problems of World Ocean pollution by the following pollutants and separate kinds of pollution are considered, among which: oil and oil products; water acidification; runoff?domestic waste discharged into the ocean; thermal pollution; electromagnetic pollution; radioactive pollution; chemical pollution; biological pollution..."