A Reddit user from Abu Dhabi shared a sad photo of stingrays swimming in shallow waters near a large pile of plastic waste.
The Redditor user came across the group of stingrays during a late-night stroll by Abu Dhabi’s Corniche Beach. Although they found the rare sight of the sea creatures close to shore “absolutely magical,” the nearby garbage heaps upset the poster.
Other Reddit users were also alarmed by the large number of stingrays swimming in such shallow waters.
“It took me a minute to realize those aren’t leaves,” another Redditor commented.
“Are they alive,” another wrote.
“They seem to be trying to find a way out,” a third commenter said.
Plastic pollution is one of the main drivers behind stingray endangerment, and the original poster highlights the ongoing struggle to protect the species from the issue. A United Nations article reported that plastics make up 85% of marine litter, which can lead stingrays and other marine life to accidentally ingest plastic. According to the Marine Megafauna Foundation, the toxic chemicals and pollutants found in plastics can stunt stingrays’ hormone regulation and reproductive functions.
U.A.E. government agencies are working to control ocean pollution issues. In February 2023, the Environmental Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) shared a press release stating that it would issue a policy to sustain the quality of the city’s surrounding marine waterways. The policy includes plans to create legislative and regulatory frameworks that foster recycling and reuse programs, anti-pollution education, and preparedness for water quality emergencies.
“Contributing to addressing the challenges facing marine water quality in the emirate, the policy is part of a sustainable solution to achieve EAD’s vision,” the EAD press release states.
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