The heavy rains currently beating down on the East San Francisco Bay Area has reminded me about the incredible amount of debris that will be entering our waterways and oceans. We are all aware of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, but there is an enormous amount of other debris that is left to surf the waves. Take for instance fishing nets. Unattended and discarded fishing nets pose danger to the entire ocean system, even whales. Check out the following pictures from The Marine Mammal Center and the results of their necropsy of a dead sperm whale recovered in March 2008.
“On March 16, The Marine Mammal Center’s Director of Veterinary Science, Dr. Frances Gulland, assisted in the necropsy of a 51-foot-long sperm whale that had washed up on a beach near Tomales Point in Point Reyes, CA. When the necropsy team reached the animal’s internal organs, they discovered nearly 450 pounds of fishing net, mesh, braided rope, plastic bags, and even a plastic comb in the whale’s stomach.“
The Marine Mammal Center, August 2008