In some parts of the ocean there are 6 lbs of plastic for every pound of fish. During our own research in 2007 we actually documented more sightings of garbage than we did of marine mammals while doing our boat transects. We had 53 sightings of garbage and only 40 sightings of marine mammals.
"Impacts of larger debris have been well-documented over the years, including marine mammal, fish and seabird mortalities caused by ingestion causing starvation and suffocation, and entanglement. Research into the impacts of smaller debris is emerging, but it is known already that small plastic debris is ingested by marine life at all levels of the marine food web, from zooplankton to the largest marine mammals."
[The above excerpt is from: MUNICIPAL BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR CONTROLLING TRASH AND DEBRIS IN STOMRWATER AND URBAN RUNOFF
Prepared and Written By:
Miriam Gordon, California Coastal Commission
Ruth Zamist, Plastic Debris, Rivers to Sea Project]
4 Laist, D.W. 1997. Impacts of marine debris: entanglement of marine life in marine debris including a comprehensive list of species with entanglement and ingestion records. pp. 99-140. In: J.M. Coe and D.B. Rogers (eds.), Marine Debris: Sources, Impacts, and Solutions. Springer-Verlag. New York, NY