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Photo of the Week (4/19/10)


Plastics in Paradise
Trash removed from a cleanup in Thailand
Lawrence Alex Wu/Marine Photobank
Marine debris has long been recognized as a major environmental, economic and aesthetic problem. It is estimated that over 16 million debris items enter the worlds oceans and seas each day, the majority of which comes from land-based sources. Derelict fishing nets and lines likely kill millions of fish, birds and marine mammals each year. Marine debris also poses a hazard to commercial shipping and recreational boating, damages coral reefs, and provides rafting material for the dispersal of invasive species. Aesthetic impacts can result in serious economic losses to local communities via reduced tourism or costs associated with beach clean-ups. Here, on Phi Phi Island, Thailand, volunteers work to remove debris from the coastline.

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