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#KICKPLASTIC: How Does Plastic Pollution Affect the Ocean We Love

We all love the ocean. We don’t want to lose fishing’s greatest source of happiness, right? Then we should take some preventive steps for our oceans to survive for future generations.

Let’s begin with some facts that you should know:

  • By 2050 ocean plastics will outweigh all the ocean’s fishes! That can’t happen! I haven’t beaten my PB Marlin yet!
  • One out of four fish tested have plastic in them! Not so appetizing right?
  • A garbage truck of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute! Not surprised how our coastal fishing conditions are literally turning into garbage.
  • Huge garbage patches are located around the world, and the biggest “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is twice the size of Texas! The closest garbage patch to Vanuatu and Australia is the South Pacific Garbage patch and it is just scary knowing these things exist and are causing great amounts of damage to the environment.

Apart from these well-known facts, current events have shown that dead zones are growing. What are “dead zones”? Dead zones are marked areas that are hypoxic or have very low oxygen concentrations. The animal life just suffocates and dies. In 2004, there were 146 dead zones listed, then in 2008 the number grew to 405. Guess what? The numbers of dead zones have increased to a crazy point that the United Nations consider this a huge problem and are looking into ways on how to control and hopefully stop this from turning into an unstoppable monster.

The rubbish on the surface of our oceans are an eyesore and the garbage patches are a big problem in itself but most ocean trash sit on the bottom of the sea where no one can see. In fact, 70% of ocean garbage sinks to the seafloor meaning we’re unlikely to ever be able to clean it up and that totally sucks! 40% of the plastics produced every year are single-use plastics like shopping bags, drinking straws and disposable utensils that we don’t really take notice of. Imagine 5 full garbage bags set on every foot of coastline, that’s about 8 million tons of plastic waste per year, that much! As fishermen who love catching fish both for fun and sustenance, we should pull our socks up and make moves to help as much as we can because even small changes can make a huge impact in protecting the oceans we love.

We know that when we protect our oceans we’re protecting our future.

— President Bill Clinton

Thankfully, big brands like Costa Del Mar Sunglasses have started the #kickplastic campaign and this campaign provide us with helpful information on how we can play our part in this environmental crisis. We can take small steps and do our part with just these actions:

1 Use reusable bottles.

Not just when fishing but also daily. It doesn’t really take much effort and drinks containers from the likes of Yeti are cool and extremely functional, adding brownie points to anglers you meet out on the water.

2 Skip disposable shopping bags and bring your own reusable shopping/eco bags.

They are cheap and tough, allowing you to carry more than your regular plastic bag can. Hell, take it a step further and use old polyester clothes and make bags out of them. Polyester clothing doesn’t “biodegrade” well and still have negative effects on our oceans so try to reuse these fabrics as much as possible.

3 Pick up rubbish as you go.

Daily opportunities to pick up rubbish and chucking them into recycling bins aplenty. When we head out fishing, pick up as much rubbish as you can without messing up your boat. Baby steps are all we need to create a ripple effect and make an impact. A bit of a dirty task but you’ll feel great when the effects make an impact to our oceans.

4 And finally, spread the word.

Share this blog post on social media to create awareness, visit the #kickplastic website and ask friends and family to do the same. It won’t hurt spreading a bit of awareness among your circle of friends. All we could wish for is a domino effect that will snowball into a worldwide movement, forever changing the oceans for the betterment of the environment we spend most of our time on.

If you are a fishing guide or run a charter operation, consider making the switch to reusable bottles in your business. We must protect the waters we fish and by reducing the amount of plastic water bottles we use, we can send a message to our fishing guests that we are stewards of our waterways, which can create a ripple effect that spreads the word even further. Check out the kick plastic guide program here to save a bit of money during the transition.

There you have it. Had to have a say in this global epidemic and I personally would hate to see my dream fish disappear due to this plastic problem. Hard work and lots of growing pains but will be worth it once I hookup to my fish of a lifetime.

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#KICKPLASTIC: How Does Plastic Pollution Affect the Ocean We Love

John is originally from the Philippines. John has extensive guiding experience throughout Asia and...Learn more

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