The combined potential harmful effects on the world’s oceans, that arise from the entry of a multitude of contaminants, chemicals, metals, plastics etc, is immense. These contaminants can adhere to tiny particles which are then ultimately absorbed into the food chain.
Such toxins can lead to a change in tissue matter, biochemistry, behaviour, reproduction and suppress growth in marine life. Also with the use of fish meal in animal feeds, marine toxins can be transferred to land animals and hence meat and diary products.
The use of anti-fouling paints for shipping has long been a problem for marine life, yet is necessary to avoid fouling organisms slowing ships, increasing fuel consumption and reducing hull durability. The chemicals used in anti-fouling paints tend to leach into the water and again can end up in the food chain, in fish, seabirds and marine mammals, causing severe damage to reproduction and immune systems.