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Marine Pollution: Artificial Trash in the Ocean (Essay Sample)


review on marine pollution


Marine Pollution: Artificial Trash in the Ocean
Cozara et al argues that there is an "accumulation of floating plastic debris in the open ocean”, noting specifically that "the Plastic Age… is leading to a visible accumulation of plastic debris" responsible for marine pollution and biofouling. In seeking to further inform the scientific awareness of the impact of plastic pollution and investigate the quantity, final destination and removal of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, Cozara et al argues for renewed scientific scholarship. Intended primarily for marine (pollution) researchers, the text’s main thesis is that while plastic marine pollution is on the rise, there remains inadequate scientific inquiry into "the abundance and the distribution of plastic debris in the open ocean”. Seeking to provide preliminary insights into the phenomenon of oceanic plastic pollution, Cozara et al "we synthetize data collected across the world to provide a global map and a first- order approximation of the magnitude of the plastic pollution in surface waters of the open ocean”. According to Cozara et al, plastic pollutants in the open waters of the world’s oceans accumulate "in the convergence zones of each of the five subtropical gyres with comparable density”. These are the North Atlantic subtropical, South Pacific subtropical, North Pacific central, South Atlantic, and South Indian Ocean central gyres. Declining to demagogue in favor of pro-environmentalism, Cozara’s tone remains academic, putting the point across in easy yet domain-specific language and organizes the text into clear sub-divisions, namely an introduction, "results and discussion”, and a section on "materials and methods”.[Cozara, A., Echevarríaa, F., González-Gordilloa, J., Úbedaa, B., Hernández-Leónd, S., Palmae, A., Navarrof, S., García-de-Lomasa, J., Ruizg, A., Fernández-de-Puellesh, M., and Duarte, C. (2014). Plastic debris in the open ocean. Current Issue 11(28): 10239–10244] [The removal of plastic from marine habitats in poorly understood and Cozara et al provide five possible means of removal (sinks): biofouling, ingestion and transference of pollutants into food webs, fast nano-fragmentation, shore deposition. The authors note that other methods may yet to be discovered.]
The paper clearly and emphatically communicates its intended purpose. Venturing into the study through a systematic literature review and ocean expedition, the paper provides strong empirical evidence of the existence of oceanic vortices that channel off-shore pollutants into central gyres mentioned above. It is also in thematic unity with the thesis statement. Where the authors state that they intend to "provide a global map… worldwide distribution of plastic on the surface of the open ocean”, they studiously keep to the course, providing not only a cartographic representation of this distribution but also "a first- order approximation of the magnitude of the plastic pollution in surface waters of the open ocean”. It is unimaginable that these researchers could pursue their goal any more professionally after having carefully and painstakingly collected over 3, 000 water samples from all over the world. The text impacted my thinking about consumption as it relates the extent of marine pollution to human activity. It came to a surprise to me that human activity is responsible for so much ecological and environmental, especially in the light of the fact that plastic pollutants are notoriously stable. The authors convinced me to reduce my plastic footprint- the amount of plastic pollutants that I discard after use.[The text relies on data gathered from the analysis of water samples collected from 141 sites during a 2010 expedition. Cozara et al. Plastic debris] [The North Pacific ocean’s accumulation zone accounts for up to 35% of marine plastic pollutants. This is correlated with the fact that it serves North East Asia, home to 205 of global population. Ibid]
The author intentionally target the scientific community by imploring them pursue further research. The researchers contemplate the urgent need to investigate, firstly, the "fate of the missing plastic debris" and, secondly, "the significance of plastic pollution”. Although not an entirely light read to the casual reader, the authors have provided ample literature references and discussion of replicable investigation methods. These, in addition to the recommended course of action and calls for urgent future research, are enough to inform the non-academic audience.
The main thesis, cartography of accumulation zones, is professionally handled and sufficient proof is provided to su...
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