Not Your Giant Trash Can
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Not Your Giant Trash Can

Dumping oil waste into the ocean is not okay.

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Not Your Giant Trash Can
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Recently, Caribbean Princess Cruise lines were fined $40 million after pleading guilty to seven felony charges. The cruise line was caught dumping oily waste into the ocean, and according to sources, they lied about this practice for eight years. The waste consisted of the contaminated food, grease, and fat from the galley, and all the oil waste from the engines. Instead of properly filtering the waste and disposing of it at ports, the ships took the easy—and less expensive—way out, by dumping the waste “harmlessly” into the sea.

Not only is this a sick ploy to further the cruise line’s capitalist agenda and save money, but it is also harming the millions of organisms who call the ocean home. The waste doesn’t just magically disappear once dumped. It perpetuates throughout the sea. While it does break down or even disintegrate over time, oil containing more volatile compounds is often more viscous and can effect shoreline, contaminate fish and other food, and interrupt the lives of sea creatures.

This is of particular interest to me in regards to the internship I held this past summer. Working with sea turtles was an amazing experience; I can only begin to imagine how this might effect them. All seven species of sea turtle are endangered, including one of the largest known reptiles, the Leatherback sea turtle. These sea turtles reside mostly in open ocean waters, which happens to be prime offshore dumping location for these ships. Thus, sea turtles could be negatively impacted, in addition to the whales, fish, and even the zooplankton.

An estimated 5-15% of large sea vessels dump their waste into the ocean against the guidelines set in place by MARPOL and other laws. The implications are not even considered. As of now, we have explored less than 5% of the oceans depths. However, if we continue to pollute the oceans depths, we will eliminate the discoverable opportunities for generations to come. Do you want to be the one to tell your children what a dolphin looked like instead of showing them?

If you're interested in reading more, check out this article from CBS.

"The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it" -Robert Swan

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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