Plastic for Food? The plight of the Laysan Albatross

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Plastic for Food? The plight of the Laysan Albatross

Close up look at the terrible plight of the Albatross species due to plastics being mistaken for food.
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Friday, January 15, 2010 - 10:48am

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Wide-winged and long-lived, albatrosses are rarely seen on land, preferring to stay out on the ocean except to mate and raise their young.

Melissa McGinnis and Greenopolis TV visit the Monterrey Bay Aquarium and get a close up look at the terrible plight of the Albatross species due to plastics being mistaken for food. We learned from one of the aquarium's directors, Alison Barratt that Albatrosses fly hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles in search of food for their chicks. They look for squid and fish eggs floating on the surface of the water. Unfortunately, plastic floats, and Laysan albatross are particularly attracted to it. They eat it, mistaking if for food, then they fly back to the nest and feed bottle caps, lighters, fishing lures and other pieces of plastic to their young. The chicks starve to death, with stomachs full of plastic. In fact 40% of the Laysan Albatross chicks born each year die from eating plastic...

How can we help ?

Tips from the Monterey Bay Aquarium

  1. Limit your use of disposable plastics, like plastic bags and water bottles.

  2. Carry your own reusable shopping bag and/or water bottle.

  3. Look for products made from recycled materials that have little or no packaging, or packaging that is recyclable.

  4. Try to avoid Styrofoam products—bring your own mug to the coffee shop, and a container for leftovers when you eat out.

  5. Know which plastics can be recycled in your city and recycle!

  6. Make sure all non-recyclable plastics are securely disposed of.

  7. Pick up trash on the street and put it in a trash can. 

If you can make it to the aquarium be sure to meet "Makana". Makana is a Laysan albatross from the Northwestern Hawaiian Island of Midway. She came to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in 2006, after she injured her wing and was unable to survive in the wild. Makana appears daily in a presentation that helps visitors learn about the threats that albatrosses and other seabirds face from plastics pollution.She is a beautiful inspiring creature, one that we should all work to protect

Also see Makana on video click here

Greenopolis.com is dedicated to our users. We focus our attention on changing the world through recycling, waste-to-energy and conservation. We reward our users for their sustainable behaviors on our website, through our Greenopolis Tracking Stations and with curbside recycling programs.

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Keywords: Alison Barratt | Monterey Bay Aquarium | Plastic | albatross | food | laysan | mistaken | ocena | plight

CONTENT: Blog

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