ocean plastic, not fantastic
By Karen McGhee
10 December 2021
Every year, thousands of majestic flesh-footed shearwaters migrate to Lord Howe Island, off the NSW coast.
And every year, many are found dead, their stomachs full of plastic.
The shearwaters on the island feed over the Tasman Sea, which is fed by numerous ocean currents.
Currents that carry shearwater delicacies like fish, crustaceans and squid, and despairingly, ever-increasing pieces of plastic.
The plastic is eaten by adults, who then instinctively regurgitate it – if they can – to feed their young.
Many hatchlings never leave the island. They die here malnourished and in pain.
Most of the plastic in the bellies of Lord Howe Island flesh-footed shearwaters comes from industrial sources.
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