The Effect of Plastic on Marine Life
The problem: The plastic waste in the Gulf areas are accumulating and the waste is not being disposed properly. Plastic water bottles are the largest type of waste that is found in the ocean along with many other plastic items. These items pose a great threat to animals on land but mostly in the water since it is harder to remove trash from the water.
This issue is critical in the western region of Abu Dhabi where the trash is moved by the currents and is taken into open water. According to the Khaleej Times, plastic bags and other plastic debris in the water killed over 100,000 turtles and marine life. This happens because animals like turtles think plastic bags are jellyfish which is something that they like to eat. When they eat the bag the bag clogs their throat not allowing them to breathe and they suffocate. Another problem in Abu Dhabi is that when baby turtles hatch they find their way to the ocean using the light and Abu Dhabi’s skyline is full of lights which misleads the turtles. After a while the turtles die because they need to eat and their food is in the water.
Organizations helping: Many different organizations are trying to help save these animals and protect marine life. The UN promised to protect all life below water by 2030 according to goal 14, a sustainable development goal set by the UN. According to Arabella Willing, the head of conservation at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, hotels on the Jumeirah beach are turning down their lights to help turtles find their way to the ocean better. If they need lights then they use red lights which turtles can’t see since they don’t see bright colors. The Dubai Aquarium is also trying to help with marine life by taking endangered species, making habitats for them and feeding them daily so they can live a long life.
They take care of all the marine life and make sure they don’t fight. Another association trying to help with marine life is Dubai Rehabilitation Center which is run by Wild Wadi Waterpark. This center take in turtle eggs and incubates them or takes in turtles and helps them if they are injured or sick before releasing them. Lastly, Hamad Ahmad Al Rahoumi, a member of the House from Dubai, said that the House missed their deadline to stop using bio-degradable bags in 2013 and started a project to end the use of plastic bags. The House of Dubai did not give a time-frame of when this goal will be achieved.
This project was started since the UAE used 11 billion bags from 2003 – 2009. There are many more organizations trying to help with keeping marine life at a good level so they don’t all die and so the next generations could see all of these animals at sea. The UAE set up its own rehabilitation centers for animals after seeing 500 dead marine animals around the UAE waters. They started programs such as the mangroves and coral reef planting and they currently have 60 protected areas for animals around the UAE and 21 of them for marine life. 3 How you can help: In conclusion marine life is a big difficulty now for humans because we have to help protect them and save them. Even though many organizations are helping that isn’t enough.
Everyone has to help to make sure the next generations have the chance to witness marine life at sea. We can help with marine life and take action now. For example, if you see a turtle egg around the UAE you can always take it to the Dubai Rehabilitation Center so that they can incubate it and take care of it. You can make sure that you are not throwing things in the water and that you are recycling. There are many ways you can help. It just comes down to whether you want to or not.