June 8th 2018 marks World Oceans Day, perhaps this year it is especially poigniant given that there can be few of us who haven't seen and been moved by events in Thailand over the last couple of days. Where a Pilot whale was spotted in a canal unable to swim, when rescuers tried to help, the poor mammal convulsed and vomitted up several plastic bags shortly before it died. An autopsy revealled 8 kilos of plastic bags in its stomach.
In a study published earlier in the year, it was discovered that there is up to 16 times more waste floating in our oceans than previously thought. The great Pacific garbage patch, as it is known, covers an area nearly the same size as Queensland, something thats truly staggering. The ban of plastic bags in Queensland comes into affect on July 1st, but it is a small step to trying to reverse the problems within our great oceans.
Thailand, where the Pilot whale died, is one of the world's largest consumers of plastic bags, which kill hundreds of marine creatures living near the country's beaches each year. Last month, the Thai government said it was considering a levy on disposable plastic shopping bags but there is a long way to go yet.
Here in Australia we have some of the most amazing oceans and diverse and beautiful sealife. Something we should celebrate and preserve, not just on June 8th, but every day.