A man stretches his leg on the bank of the Han River as a ship passes by amid thick haze. Tens of thousands of premature deaths in east Asia every year are caused by shipping pollution.
The merchant navy – some 20,000 ships – carries the vast majority of trade goods around the world. Unfortunately, they also spew toxic pollutants that harm people and the environment.
Pollution and debris off the Sri Lankan coast.
A new documentary highlights the plight of marine animals living among the estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic rubbish generated by humans.
Popular tourist destination Kuta beach in Bali, Indonesia, is regularly covered in waste, most of it plastic that washes ashore during the rainy season. This picture was taken on February 15, 2016.
Marine plastic pollution is a global problem. Bali's beaches present prime examples and an opportunity to study the socio-economic effects this has on coastal communities.
A trench amphipod,
Hirondellea gigas, from the deepest place on Earth: Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench (10,890m).
Alan Jamieson, Newcastle University
But should we care if the extreme marine frontier is not clean?
Around 94% of litter on South African beaches is made of plastic, of which 77% is packaging.
Waste plastic affects marine life significantly but better education and recyclable plastics could go a long way in resolving this issue.
Sperm whales, like many other species, use echolocation which can be hampered by noise.
Gabriel Barathieu/Wikimedia Commons
We tend to think of the oceans as quiet, when in fact they're anything but. Noise is the "forgotten pollutant", but the good news is that unlike many other pollutants it can be switched off if we try.
School of thought.
Understanding this will boost conservation efforts.
Plastic fragments found in dissected fish.
Algalita Marine Research and Education
Dave West from the environmental group Boomerang Alliance told Fairfax that if you've got an average seafood diet in Australia, you're probably ingesting about 11,000 plastic pieces a year. Is that right?
The Curtis Island gas precinct is one of the biggest developments along the Great Barrier Reef coast.
The coast alongside the Great Barrier Reef is home to ports, farms, holiday resorts, and more than a million people. It all puts pressure on the Reef, and it's time for some firms plans to manage it.
A flood plume containing sediments, nutrients and pesticides flowing onto the Great Barrier Reef from Bundaberg.
AAP Image/James Cook University
Successive plans to curb the sediments, nutrients and pesticides flowing into the waters around the Great Barrier Reef have fallen short, leaving the corals that call the reef home highly vulnerable.
It’s not always as ostentatious as Dubai, but our coastlines are home to ever-growing numbers of manmade structures.
Urban sprawl has spread to the sea, as more and more man-made structures are being built along the world's coastlines. Just as we do on land, we need to think about how to build sustainably at sea.