What’s up with the dolphin and what is the Balinese Water Story, read more below the picture…
Selamat Pagi or Good morning,
Today’s article is about the source that is and will be ruling the world’s surface, the ocean.
We tend to speak about different oceans around the world, for example the Indian Ocean or the Pacific, but from a scientific point of view it is one water body spanning across the whole world. The best example on how well this waterbody is connected, is an incident that took place in January 1992. At the 10th of January a Cargo boat lost a container containing 29000 green and yellow rubber ducks, on its way from Hong Kong to America in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, releasing an army of tiny brave rubber ducks now setting their sails for distant shores all over the world. At first, some of them stranded in Hawaii, but the majority kept on traveling and making landfall all around the American mainland, Australia and Indonesia. Up to now theses Ducks can be found at the beaches of the world (e.g. 2000 Massachusetts, 2001 Iceland and 2003 Scotland).
Now seeing the bigger picture of the connected oceans, we can go into detail about the local ocean waters and the dangers for the aquatic environment. First of all, we will focus on the topic plastic waste, which is one of the major issues for our friend; the ocean.
Plastic is a material which can be found in different shapes, sizes and chemical ingredients. Overall, it is a combination of molecules that have a good feature, they are durable and last for a very long time, and for example a plastic bottle has a life span of around 400 years before it is totally dissolved. But let’s start with the most common daily life example; plastic bags. These friends in daily life, can become aquatic life’s nightmare, when they are not disposed in the right way. Imagine a dolphin swimming in the ocean, being hungry and looking for food, finally he finds a swarm of well-fed squids swimming around, but in the middle of the swarm there is also a bag floating around, looking nearly the same as its surrounding wildlife.
The dolphin starts hunting, but some of the squid are fleeing and are not easy to catch so he is going for the motionless one, the bag, not knowing the difference, he is eating it. At first, this is no major harm to him, but as time is passing, this might happen again and again. After a while the plastic starts to block its stomach, thus, forcing the dolphin to starve to death because he is not able to eat any more food. This happens every day to a vast number of aquatic wildlife, not only with bags but with every kind of plastic waste. Therefore, please be careful with your disposal of plastics, or better do not use them in the first place. Bring your own bag when you are doing the grocery shopping, or get your own water bottle for a refill at the water station or bring your own straw when you are going to get some drinks. I would like to close this article by encouraging you to imagine more ways to reduce the amount of waste you are producing every day, to help keep the oceans clean. Like the little rubber ducks taught us, we are all connected by and with the ocean so now the responsibility is with us to take care of our friend.
Swidbert Hoeflinger, Student from Germany,
studying Water Resource Management as a Bachelor of Science,
currently interning with the Role Foundation for six months focusing on resource management and water pollution.