Here are some stats that provide an overview of marine debris/ghost fishing to give a contextual basis for the problem. For this particular topic, stats can be used to help convey the brevity of the issue, to help the audience grasp the scale of marine debris. The pairing of visuals and stats help dispel the ‘out of sight out of mind’ curse. Presenting the issue as one component of the ex-fisherman profile allows the audience to interpret and understand ghost fishing as it relates to real life
- ALDFG comprises as much as 10 percent of global marine litter by volume
- Land-based sources are the predominate cause of marine debris in coastal areas and merchant shipping the key sea-based source of litter.
- As much as 70 percent of the entire input of marine litter to the world’s oceans sinks to the bottom and is found on the sea bed, both in shallow coastal areas and in much deeper parts of the oceans.
- Modern plastics can last up to 600 years in the marine environment, depending upon water conditions, ultraviolet light penetration and the level of physical abrasion.
- The United States Academy of Sciences estimated the total input of marine litter into the oceans at approximately 6.4 million tonnes per year, of which nearly 5.6 million tonnes (88 percent) was estimated to come from merchant shipping
- 8 million items of marine litter are estimated to enter oceans and seas every day, about 5 million (63 percent) of which are solid waste thrown overboard or lost from ships
- Over 13 000 pieces of plastic litter are floating on every square kilometre of ocean. In urban areas or beaches close to major urban centers between 75% and 80% of all debris originates from terrestrial sources. In areas remote from urban development it is typically the fishing and shipping industry that is responsible for the majority of marine debris, contributing between 50% and 90&
Figure 1 has a good graphic of regulations regarding disposal of garbage (p 3)
Table 1 provides an overview of the regulatory organizations (p 9)