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Marine garbage: fishing nets with dead eider duck, Westerhever, German Wadden Sea
Garbage has always been discarded into the ocean but since the 1940s, plastic use has increased dramatically, resulting in a huge quantity of nearly indestructible, lightweight material floating in the oceans and eventually deposited on beaches worldwide. Marine garbage includes fishing nets, plastics, party balloons, beach toys, general household garbage. Animals eat this garbage and it strangles them or blocks their digestive system causing starvation. Entanglement can also constrict growth and circulation, causing eventual slow death, or trap marine animals within large debris, leading to drowning, starvation or attack by predators. Even if just attached, it slows the animals’ ability to move through the water, and animals starve due to their inability to catch prey.