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Environmental Change and Management : International Oceans

Year 9 Geography



Indonesia- Our beautiful nation is grappling with a serious plastic pollution challenge. We are home to the world’s largest archipelago – more than 17,000 islands, 81,000 kilometres of coastlines and a rich abundance of biodiverse marine ecosystems. Our pristine natural environment is a gift that we have treasured for thousands of years, and one that we must pass down to future generations.

With ocean plastics on the rise, Indonesia is engaged in its own fight against marine pollution. Jakarta—the country’s bustling, nine-million-person capital city—officiated a ban in July 2020 on single-use plastic bags in traditional markets, modern supermarkets, and minimarkets.

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, is believed to be the world’s second-largest contributor of plastic pollutants in the oceans, after China.  Home about 267 million people, strong economic growth and an expanding middle class is driving the consumption of more and more products often containing, or wrapped in, some sort of plastic.

Indonesia, by the end 2025, will reduce 70% of its plastic debris from 2017. In this regard, Indonesia will launch its National Action Plan on Marine Plastic Debris that contains numerous strategies and concrete plans on land, on coastal areas, and at sea aimed at significantly reducing marine plastic debris as well as contributing to the national ambition on the realization of trash-free Indonesia.

Countries Most Polluting the World's Oceans

Infographic: The Countries Polluting The Oceans The Most | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

A team of researchers in the United States and Australia led by Jenna Jambeck, an environmental engineer at the University of Georgia, analyzed plastic waste levels in the world's oceans. They found that China and Indonesia are the top sources of plastic bottles, bags and other rubbish clogging up global sea lanes. Together, both nations account for more than a third of plastic detritus in global waters, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The original source data can be found here.


Plastic pollution in the oceans is a major problem with recent statistics suggesting that Asian countries are responsible for more than half of the plastic that finds its way into water bodies. It has been estimated that eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the world’s oceans each year, threatening the marine environment. CGTN’s Assignment Asia explores why so much plastic is coming out of Asia and the impact on marine life. We also examine how micro-plastics, ingested by fishes, shrimps and other shell and sea creatures, end up entering the human food chain, and the impact this would have on human health.

Volunteers have removed an astonishing 12 million kilograms (nearly 12,000 tons) of plastic from a short stretch of a Mumbai beach. But their efforts will be in vain unless the city authorities improve waste collection and dissuade people living in slums from using a creek as a rubbish dump.

Bali has declared a 'garbage emergency' on some beaches, where tons of pollution is washing up from the ocean each day.

9 out 10 cities in China have failed government pollution standards according to China's Ministry of Environmental Protection. A quarter of million Chinese die every year from pollution, rivers turn blood red, and by 2030, China will be COMPLETELY OUT OF WATER! These are just a few of the signs that China's pollution has reached apocalyptic levels, and it's having a global effect on climate change. To find out the rest, watch this episode of China Uncensored.

A brief environmental video essay that looks at the Dead Zone in the Gulf Mexico and the effect of industrial agriculture, fertilizer, and manure on America's waterways. Specifically, I trace the oxygen deprivation caused by algal blooms in the Dead Zone back to overuse of fertilizers and runoff from conventional farms near the Mississippi.

Biggest Ever Dead Zone In Gulf Of Mexico

Ocean Plastic- World Economic Forum

Over the last decade we have become increasingly alarmed at the amount of plastic in our oceans. More than 8 million tons of it ends up in the ocean every year. If we continue to pollute at this rate, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. But where does all this plastic waste come from? Most of it is washed into the ocean by rivers. And 90% of it comes from just 10 of them, according to a study.


In 2015, a report by the United Nations Environment Programme said that Ocean Pollution was quite high in India. The report informed that India dumped 0.6 tonnes of plastic waste into oceans annually. It ranked 12th among the top 20 countries responsible for marine pollution.

he Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) Annual Report on Implementing the Plastic Garbage Rules, 2016, is the only regular estimate of the quantum of plastic waste generated in India. According to it, the waste generated in 2018-19 was 3,360,043 tonnes per year (roughly 9,200 tonnes per day).

Gulf of Mexico

The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is indicated in red, above. The so-called Gulf Dead Zone is a region of the ocean where there is so little oxygen that almost no life exists beneath the surface waters. In 2010, the Gulf Dead Zone was about 20,140 square kilometers (7,776 square miles).

NOAA and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) released their summer hypoxia zone size in the Northern Gulf of Mexico on June 3, 2021. Read the full press release here. EXIT Scientists are forecasting this summer’s Gulf of Mexico hypoxic area or “dead zone” – an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and other marine life – to be approximately 4,880 square miles, larger than the long-term average measured size of 5,400 square miles but substantially less than the record of 8,776 square miles in 2017.

"Dead zone" is a more common term for hypoxia, which refers to a reduced level of oxygen in the water.



China’s environmental crisis, the result of decades of rapid industrialization, not only threatens the health and livelihoods of the country’s 1.4 billion people but also the global fight against climate change. As the world’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in recent years, China suffers from notoriously bad air pollution.

Like many coastal nations, China has also been facing an acute decline in the health of the ocean along its coastline caused by both terrestrial and marine development. The rapid expansion of the ocean economy, as well as increasing discharge of land-based pollutants, have exerted a heavy toll on China’s coastal waters, such as the decline in seawater quality, the accumulation of debris along the coasts, depletion of fish resources, the frequent outbreak of harmful algal blooms, and so on.