Canned tuna now contains enough mercury to poison unborn children, damaging their nervous systems. At sea, oceanographers find six times as much plastic as plankton. During this century, oceans will warm a degree and the sea level will rise another foot, enough to disrupt deep ocean circulation, melt more of the icecaps, and affect animals from snails to polar bears. But the coming decade will emerge as an era of progress in conservation and the culture of sustainability.
The world suffered a recent enormous human tragedy on the Indian Ocean's shores. Oceans themselves have also suffered greatly in the past year. Millions of tons of waste have been dumped into the ocean, 100 million tons of fish have been culled, and nearly 30 million tons of ocean megafauna, sharks, sea turtles, albatrosses, and dolphins have been killed, as well as small fish and other creatures nobody wants to eat.