Marine Debris continues to accumulate into the 21st Century

Dead sea bird – stomach full of plastic

Current measures to prevent and reduce marine debris are inadequate, and the problem will likely worsen, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council.

The United States and the international maritime community should adopt a goal of “zero discharge” of waste into the marine environment, and a system to assess the effectiveness of existing and future marine debris prevention and reduction actions should be implemented. In addition, better leadership, coordination, and integration of mandates and resources are needed, as responsibilities for preventing and mitigating marine debris are scattered across federal organizations and management regimes.

“The committee found that despite all the regulations and limitations over the last 20 years, there are still large quantities of waste and litter in the oceans,” said Keith Criddle, chair of the committee that wrote the report… “We concluded that the United States must take the lead and coordinate with other coastal countries, as well as with local and state governments, to better manage marine debris and try to achieve zero discharge.”

All nicely said, expressing appropriate sentiments. Why should we expect the fumble-fingered bureaucrats in charge to have improved during the Bush years? If anything incompetence became a new national sport.

A new administration will probably have to go back to the beginning just to re-establish a civil service that lives up to the definition. And Marine “Law” is hardly worthy of the term.

One thought on “Marine Debris continues to accumulate into the 21st Century

  1. Mahalo says:

    Close to 100,000 pounds of ghost nets and plastics were found on reefs and beaches on Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
    A team of 16 free divers with the nonprofit Papahānaumokuākea Marine Debris Project collected and removed 97,295 pounds of debris during a 27-day expedition.
    “An estimated 115,000 lbs of marine debris accumulates on the reefs of Papahānaumokuākea each year, and if PMDP isnʻt cleaning it up, no one is,” PMDP Executive Director James Morioka said in a statement.
    “PMDP’s next clean-up mission is in September, with the goal of removing another 100,000 lbs. Itʻs our goal at PMDP to continue regular clean-up efforts into the future to maintain coral reef health and protect countless animals from entanglement and potential injury or death.”

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