Oceans will have more plastic than fish by 2050: Study
Dr V Kripa said every year there is a sharp increase in the quantum of plastic waste getting into the ocean and if the situation continued like this plastic debris will outnumber marine creatures, especially fish species.
By 2050, major oceans will have more plastic than fish, said a leading marine scientist of the country.
Speaking at the two-day national seminar on marine debris in Kochi on Wednesday Dr V Kripa, principal scientist of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), said that going by the present trend, 850 million metric tonne of plastic will be found in the ocean by 2050, whereas only 821 million metric tonne of fish will remain in the sea by that time.
She said every year there is a sharp increase in the quantum of plastic waste getting into the ocean and if the situation continued like this plastic debris will outnumber marine creatures, especially fish species.
“Recent studies have shown that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of this, 2,69,000 tonne float on the surface, while around four billion micro-fibre per sq km litter the deep sea,” she said adding drastic measures were needed to check the growing pollution of seas.
“Micro-plastic are posing a serious threat to the marine food chain. In seas around the Indian sub-continent, high rise of plastic levels were found in many varieties of fish starting from sardine to tuna and sea birds,” she said.
Talking at the seminar Dr Vasudeva Rajagopalan, known as the ‘Plastic Man of India,’ said the problem is not with plastic, but the poor waste-disposal culture that is creating innumerable problems for the country.
The man who popularised mixing plastic with tar while building roads said if plastic is processed scientifically it will turn a fruitful resource for multiple development purposes.
“Careless disposal of plastic is creating problems that is leading to degradation of resources both in land and ocean. If processed systematically and scientifically, plastic can be made a good energy-saving resource,” he said. “India will have to import plastic wastes from other countries if all roads in the country will be converted into plastic roads,” he said, adding it was a simple method and no big machinery was needed for mixing plastic with tar.