Yearly, 180 million tons of toxic, chemical and ☢️ radioactive waste is dumped into the oceans. By comparison, 300 million people in USA send about 120 million tons of trash to landfills every year.
The dumping results in 'invisible water pollution' that accumulates and increases every year. Hazardous waste has been accumulating in the ocean water for 150 years.
Industrial companies treat the ocean as a bottomless pit with the idea “out of sight, out of mind”
Some zones in the ocean that are larger than land continents are called ‘death zone’ where no fish can live.
Dozens of death whale babies that washed up in Norway in recent years show that they are already contaminated with toxic chemicals before they are born and Japan recently denied a shipment of toxic whale meat from Norway.(2021) Dead baby orca reveals harmful chemical levels in baby whales A necropsy of a 10-day-old orca that washed up in Norway in 2017 has revealed that even as calves, these iconic whales are full of toxic chemicals, a new study finds. Source: Live Science (2015) Japan refuses Norway’s toxic whale meat Toxic chemicals identified in a shipment of whale meat put the spotlight on Norwegian whaling. Source: The Guardian
In the past decades, 67 percent of all seabirds have died. Many seabird species could become extinct in the coming decades.
(2018) Seabirds extinct within decades A recent study found a 67 percent decline in seabird populations between 1950 and 2010. “Essentially seabirds are going extinct,” says Wilcox. “Within decades.” Source: journals.plos.org | Eco Watch | National Geographic
Insecticide DDT ocean dumping is criminal
Half a million barrels of the potent and highly toxic insecticide DDT off the coast of Los Angeles are waiting to be released into the water. Californian 🐬 dolphins are contaminated with DDT and 🦭 sea lions in the region are dying of an aggressive cancer. DDT is a persistent (forever) chemical.(2022) Scientists find DDT chemicals accumulating in California condors After years of study, Tubbs and a team of environmental health scientists have identified more than 40 DDT-related compounds—along with a number of unknown chemicals—that have been circulating through the marine ecosystem and accumulating in this iconic bird at the very top of the food chain.
“The abundance is so high in Southern California,” said Hoh, who keeps finding this forever chemical reappearing in new and unexpected ways. “We can't just move on … our ocean is so much more polluted with DDT.”
A study based in Oakland found that DDT's hormone-disrupting effects are affecting a new generation of women—passed down from mothers to daughters, and now granddaughters. Source: Phys.org (2022) Here’s what we know about the legacy of DDT dumping off L.A.'s coast Although DDT, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, was banned 50 years ago, its toxic — and insidious — legacy continues to haunt the marine ecosystem off the California coast. Source: Los Angeles Times
☢️ nuclear waste dumping
Before the 1972 Ocean Dumping Act, the dumping of radioactive waste was legal in USA and was done on large scale with little care for marine health. Today radioactive nuclear waste is still being dumped in several countries such as in Somalia’s oceans.
Western industrial companies have been freely dumping tons of hazardous toxic and ☢️ nuclear waste into the unregulated shores off Somalia’s coastline, which according to locals include companies from Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
🇺🇳 UN envoy to Somalia: ‘Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury.’ Much of it can be traced back to European 🏥 hospitals and factories.
No media attention!
It is noteworthy that there has been almost no media attention for the nuclear waste dump practices in Somalia's oceans. The issue came to light in the 2005 tsunami that caused hundreds of barrels with nuclear waste to wash up on the beach.
☢️ nuclear waste dumping
In one of the most major articles on the case (+/- number 1 in Google among just a few articles), on 'expertsure.com' from Bristol, UK, it is indicated that the planned dump of nuclear water by 🇯🇵 Japan in 2023, has received a lot of attention, while until now, the dump of nuclear waste in Somalia's oceans received almost no attention.
CEO ExpertSure.comIt seems tragically ironic that so much care and attention are being focused on the recent nuclear catastrophe in 🇯🇵 Japan, yet absolutely nothing is being said or done to protect millions of Somalis who have been poisoned for decades by our illegally dumped hazardous nuclear waste. Who are the real criminal pirates here?
Yesterday the BBC reported that radiation levels at the crippled Fukushima reactor site are ten million times normal levels. As the oceans near the damaged nuclear plant are becoming contaminated with increasing amounts of nuclear radiation, concerns are growing about how much radioactive poison the planet’s seas can withstand.
However, although it is not receiving anywhere near as much attention as the unfolding disaster in Japan, the massive amounts of illegally dumped radioactive nuclear waste that are still being thrown into Somalia’s oceans potentially could prove to be an even more deadly catastrophe.
Source: ExpertSure.com (PDF backup)
🏴☠️ Pirate activism from Somalia
In 2008, pirates in Somalia started to hijack ships in the region, hijacking ever more prolific targets, including arms ships, oil tankers and cruise liners, and extracting huge ransoms from their owners.(2008) List of ships attacked by Somali pirates in 2008 Source: WikiPedia
In Western media, the pirates were presented as savages without mentioning a motive related to toxic waste dumping in Somalia's oceans.
An example is an article in The Guardian (not a single mention of 'toxic waste dumping').(2008) How savage Somali pirates reign on the world's high seas It has become the most dangerous strip of sea in the world with weekly attacks on European ships. Off the Somalian coast brutal pirates are hijacking luxury yachts, vast cruise liners and even food aid ships and demanding - and getting - huge ransoms. Source: The Guardian
According to several sources the pirates acted with a motive related to toxic waste dumping in Somalia's oceans by 🇪🇺 European companies.(2009) Somalia's oceans used as toxic dumping ground National governments and NGOs decried the pirates’ actions as an affront to international maritime law, but few examined the pirates’ claim that a far greater crime continues in Somalia: the illegal dumping of toxic waste. Source: The Ecologist (2008) 'Toxic waste' behind Somali piracy Somali pirates have accused European firms of dumping toxic waste off the Somali coast and are demanding an $8m ransom for the return of a Ukrainian ship they captured, saying the money will go towards cleaning up the waste. Source: Business & Human Rights
Dumping of toxic chemical waste
Some toxic chemical waste such as hexachlorobenzene (HCB) is denied for processing in Europe and is therefor dumped in Somalia’s oceans. Somali locals reported that German and Danish shipping companies recently dumped 60,000 barrels of HCB from Australia.
One gram of HCB is enough to contaminate one billion gallons (over 3 billion litres) of water.
A recent study (2019) by Royal Society of Chemistry showed that Humpback whales are getting sick by HCB contamination, causing a variety of health effects, DNA damage and cancer. HCB dominates the contaminant profiles in whales.(2019) Hexachlorobenzene exerts genotoxic effects in a humpback whale cell line under stable exposure conditions Humpback whales, like other polar wildlife, accumulate persistent organic pollutants. In Southern hemisphere populations, hexachlorobenzene (HCB) dominates the contaminant profiles. HCB is linked to a variety of health effects and is classified as a group 2B carcinogen. Source: Royal Society of Chemistry
Toxic chemical 'time bomb' in Europe's oceans
A ticking time bomb is lying beneath the surface of many European seas. It is estimated that German parts of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea alone contain some 1.6 million metric tonnes of relic munitions. These conventional and chemical weapons threaten human life and the marine environment. The weapons, TNT and other explosives slowly decay, releasing harmful substances like cytotoxic, genotoxic, and carcinogenic chemicals into the water.
☢️ Radioactive water dump by 🇯🇵 Japan in 2023
After 10 years of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the 🇯🇵 Japanese government has decided on Tuesday, April 13th 2021, to start releasing radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean in 2023.
According to a German Marine Scientific Research Institute, once the waters are dumped in the ocean, radioactive materials could spread to most of the Pacific Ocean within 57 days and all oceans within a decade, which could cause a disaster for marine life.
Toxic waste dumping by a Fortune 500 company
The CEO of $180 billion USD oil company Trafigura BV (fortune 500 rank 31) recently ordered to dump a tanker full of highly poisonous toxic waste into the ocean.
CEO of Trafigura BV to skipper: “Beyond Dover, and certainly not in the Baltic Sea.”
The CEO of Trafigura BV sent an email in which he warned not to discharge poisonous toxic waste into the Baltic Sea:
‘because this is a special area and certainly not between Dover and the Baltic Sea. The discharge may not take place until Dover has passed, on the way to Lomé (Nigeria)‘.
E-mail correspondence between Trafigura CEO and employees of the company further indicated that they knew that the transport of toxic waste from the EU to other countries was prohibited.(2009) How oil company Trafigura tried to cover up toxic waste dump “Caustic washes are banned by most countries due to the hazardous nature of the waste (mercaptans, phenols)” Source: The Guardian
Instead of the ocean, the toxic waste was dumped in Ivory Coast for a fee of $20,000 USD. It caused the death of fifteen people and more than 100,000 people to become severely ill, of which 26,000 people were acutely hospitalized following the dumping.(2022) Toxic Waste Dump in Ivory Coast Exposes 'Dark Underbelly' of Globalization One of the most notorious cases of hazardous waste dumping occurred in South Africa, where a plant in the Kwazulu Natal province was the reluctant recipient of thousands of tons of processed mercury, which was dumped indiscriminately over land, and into the ocean water. Source: World Politics Review
When a Dutch fortune 500 company does it with ease, as is evident from the internal communication by the CEO of Trafigura BV – “Beyond Dover, and certainly not in the Baltic Sea.” – it happens more often than is known.
The toxic waste that was dumped by Trafigura BV was a by-product of a process to increase the value of petrol, which is done at open sea. Since there is a considerable profit motive to create such toxic waste, and since processing is difficult and costly, it may be dumped in the ocean more often than expected.(2021) Scientists: “there are massive chemical dumps in the ocean we know almost nothing about” Industrial companies have used the ocean as a dumping ground for toxic waste. Hazardous industrial chemicals and radioactive waste have been accumulating in the ocean for 150 years. Source: Grist
The fact that whale meat from Norway is to polluted as of today to be accepted in Japan, and the fact that whale babies are washing ashore full of deadly levels of chemicals, is an indication that toxic waste pollution is accumulating in the oceans to such an extent that individual whales are not able to be born healthy.
Do you want to help? Consider whale and dolphin philosophy. If it is not known what to protect, how can the human be motivated? Philosophy can help spur cultural change in human-ocean relations.
Women structurally excluded from philosophy
Women have been structurally excluded from philosophy, which may help explain why advancements in morality and ethics on behalf of animals and Nature is lacking.
When women participated in philosophy, would the world be better? Would animals and the ocean be treated better? Would there be better understanding of why it is important to have respect for Nature?(2021) What do we know about intelligence in whales and dolphins? “Could whales be as smart, if not smarter, than humans?” Source: Whale Scientists