There are multiple repercussions to plastic consumption besides the reduced energy intake, including permanent tissue damage, impairment of food digestion and nutrient intake, as well as increased incidence of many coral diseases.
Another problem with plastic debris in the ocean is the surface of those microplastics can become saturated with bacteria, many of which can become pathogens that cause coral disease. Scientists have discovered that the risk of disease can be 22 times greater on reefs that are polluted by plastic, compared to cleaner reefs. The risk and mortality caused by diseases seems to be higher on those coral species whose shapes cause them to retain more debris. Coral diseases are one of the greatest driving forces of declining reef health and driving coral mortality. As they become more prevalent thanks to plastic pollution, many reef areas are experiencing greater losses in coral cover.
If plastic debris is one of the major contributors of reef degradation, it is completely in our power to make the changes necessary to combat it. It also means that you don’t have to be a hardcore environmentalist, or a diver to participate in the fight against plastic pollution. Reducing or completely eliminating your use of plastic is the best way to help protect coral reefs. The second best way is participating in clean-ups.
If you are participating in clean-ups, especially underwater, Trshbg is a super helpful tool for anyone. Whether a diver, snorkeler or just a casual visitor to the beach, you can use your Trshbg to collect this plastic debris, and help remove some stress corals are facing.
Although picking up one piece of plastic may often feel futile, or as if you are not really changing anything, that one piece will eventually become a million nearly invisible pieces that will become food particles for corals and other small animals. Not only will that kill them but it will then be part of the food chain that you and I share with everything else in nature.
1(Rotjan et al., 2019) https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rspb.2019.0726