Last year, volunteers in 100 countries working with Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup removed seven million pounds of trash and debris in a single day. Most of it was from beaches, riverbanks and lake shores.
As much as 70% of all trash that that goes into the ocean sinks to the bottom.
Of all this trash the most prevalent and damaging is fishing gear. The hand cast nest, hooks and monofilament that we find on a regular basis, either washed ashore or entangling wildlife are Lilliputian compared to the commercial fishing nets and traps abandoned or lost at sea. Some commercial gill nets are several hundred feet high and up to 6 miles long. Pacific trawl nets can easily swallow up a Boeing 747. 'Ghost Fishing' as it is know, is becoming an increasing concern for all our oceans.
In crabbing and lobstering regions, the presence of abandoned pots is a deepening concern. In the Gulf of Mexico 250,00 pots get lost a year and derelict traps claim between 4-10 million blue crabs each year in Louisiana.
An estimated 20-30 % of all New England lobster pots are lost each year.
To find out more about what you can do to help and to get involved in the 2009 International Coastal Cleanup
this weekend visit http://www.oceanconservancy.org/
Stats and info from The Ocean Conservancy.