Poisoning Marine Life - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1782315

Poisoning Marine Life

I could not agree more: People who fish for a living could be an incredibly powerful political force [“Fishermen Should Be A Political Force,” In the Field, Sports & Outdoors, May 13]. They see with their own eyes better than any landlubber the numerous ways we befoul our beloved ocean waters.

If people who fish for a living got together and collectively recognized that plastics are killing and poisoning marine life, which is their livelihood, we could move mountains to change policy. People who fish for a living could help stop the exponential rise of plastic production and use help enact laws like making balloons illegal on Long Island.

I propose that the political force of people who fish initially target balloons. Let’s make balloons illegal on Long Island. Currently, Nantucket and Block Island have made it illegal to sell balloons on their islands. Mylar helium-filled balloons essentially all end up in the ocean.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “Balloons can be mistaken for food, and if eaten and ingested, balloons and other marine debris can lead to loss of nutrition, internal injury, starvation, and death. String or ribbon that is often found attached to balloons can cause entanglement. String can wrap around marine life causing injury, illness, and suffocation.”

This fair island should lead the fight against the over production of plastics that pollute our waters; balloons are a first step. Fishermen and women can pressure Representative Lee Zeldin to support making balloons illegal as a step toward fortifying and improving our ocean and marine life.

Susan Boyle