How pollution is damaging marine life around Cape Cod


Image source: Troy Mayne

Ian Field, Contributing Writer

Pollution is a big cause of marine life dying in our oceans and this is happening everywhere because these sea creatures are eating plastics and getting caught in nets and fishing lines.

Many people are realizing that plastics are a big problem. This is because they are used for almost everything and they do not go away. Bags, bottles, plastic eating utensils and so many other things are causing marine life to dwindle and the time to change this is now. There is already so much trash in our oceans and this problem will not go away anytime soon.

We talked with an employee that works at the Cape Cod National Seashore Visitor Center. We asked Brent Ellis about if he has seen pollution affecting marine life. “We do see a lot of sea animals eating plastics, and we are concerned with this.” This is a concerning message that helps us to see the significance of how plastics are causing problems. Ellis said whales are the most affected species around or near Cape Cod by pollution. “We are making a try with types of line being used with lobster fisherman,” Ellis replied after we asked if these types of pollution can be stopped. The common trend with the questions we asked were that many marine species are being significantly impacted by pollution.

We asked Ellis questions related to pollution affecting marine life around Cape Cod. We asked why is this (pollution) such a big problem? Ellis replied, “The populations of whales are dwindling.” He urges people to be more mindful of what we throw away knowing that it affects more than what most people think.

We can help stop polluting our oceans. One great way to do this is to go to a beach and pick up trash that you find. Anything that gets picked up greatly helps and could easily save a marine animal. You can also start using reusable plastic bags as many turtle species eat jellyfish and when plastic bags are floating in the water they resemble jellyfish and are commonly eaten. 

Knowing this information, people can choose to start helping this pollution crisis in our oceans. You can find out more about what you can do to help or learn more by calling the Cape Cod National Seashore Visitor Center.