• Thursday, July 25, 2024
businessday logo


2023 Summer beach frenzy: Pleasure for humans, torture for sea animals

2023 Summer beach frenzy: Pleasure for humans, torture for sea animals

It is July 23rd, a day filled with summer cheers and perfect weather. You’re all dressed up and ready to attend a beach party or hang out with your loved ones. But as you step outside, you were greeted by an unexpected sight: about 400 red and brown crabs wandering around your compound. What would you do in this situation?

Beach parties are a popular form of entertainment enjoyed by many people worldwide. While they offer a chance to relax and celebrate, these events have significant impacts on sea animals and marine ecosystems.

This article focuses on the effects of beach parties, human behaviours, and the waste generated, shedding light on the harm caused to sea animals and emphasizing the need for responsible partying practices to attain equilibrium.

The rising popularity of beach parties has led to concerns about their environmental impact. These gatherings attract large crowds seeking entertainment and recreational activities.

Ibiza, a renowned and picturesque island in the Balearic Islands, is famous for its vibrant nightlife and beach parties. In the year 2023, it is expected to attract over 1.5 million visitors and showcase performances by 1,000 diverse artists. This upcoming season is anticipated to be the most remarkable since 2019, offering unforgettable experiences for all those who visit.

However, this kind of rapid growth has raised questions about the potential harm they can inflict on marine life and coastal ecosystems.

Sea animals are greatly affected by the loud music, amplified sound systems, and fireworks commonly associated with beach parties. Species such as sea turtles, dolphins, and whales rely on sound for communication, navigation, and feeding.

Excessive noise disrupts their natural behaviour, causing stress, disorientation, and physical harm. Studies have shown that high noise levels can hinder their ability to find food, locate mates, and navigate their habitats, jeopardizing their survival.

Another significant concern is the increase in plastic pollution and marine debris resulting from beach parties. These events generate vast amounts of waste, including single-use plastic bottles, food containers, and party decorations.

Improper disposal and inadequate waste management practices lead to litter entering the ocean, posing a severe threat to sea animals. Marine creatures often mistake plastic for food, leading to ingestion or entanglement, which can be fatal.

Each year, approximately 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean, causing immense harm to marine life. Moreso, the amount of plastic in the ocean is expected to double in the next 15 years, and by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the sea (by weight), according to the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Determining the exact number of individuals engaged in polluting activities at beach parties can be challenging without specific data. However, one can make estimations based on certain assumptions.

For instance, it is difficult to precisely gauge the percentage of beach party attendees who smoke cigarettes. Nevertheless, assuming a general prevalence rate of smoking among adults ranging from 20% to 25%, one can estimate that around 400,000 to 500,000 people may smoke cigarettes at a beach party with 2 million attendees. Unfortunately, some of these individuals may dispose of their cigarette butts into the ocean, further contributing to pollution.

Similarly, the use of single-use plastics during beach parties is widespread. Considering that each attendee consumes at least one beverage or snack packaged in single-use plastic, it is reasonable to assume that the majority, if not all, of the 2 million attendees would contribute to plastic waste generation by using such items.

Read also: Burna Boy, Kizz, Gold to drop new releases this weekend

In addition, the quantity of food leftovers left behind at a beach party depends on various factors, including the type of food provided, portion sizes, and attendee behaviour. Based on a conservative estimate suggesting that approximately 10% of attendees leave food leftovers, we can estimate that around 200,000 people may generate food waste at a beach party with 2 million attendees. This can result in significant amounts of organic waste that may find its way into the ocean, affecting marine ecosystems and wildlife.

These estimations highlight the potential scale of pollution caused by certain human behaviours at beach parties. It underscores the importance of raising awareness and promoting responsible practices to minimise the impact of waste on the environment and protect the well-being of our oceans and their creatures.

To protect sea animals and promote responsible partying practices, collective efforts are necessary. Organisers and participants can adopt various initiatives, such as implementing noise regulations to minimize disturbance to marine life, encouraging the use of reusable products to reduce plastic waste, providing recycling facilities, and promoting responsible waste disposal.

In addition, raising awareness among beach party attendees about the importance of protecting sea animals and the environment can foster a culture of responsible partying and encourage sustainable behaviours. Regular beach cleanup activities can also help remove litter and prevent it from entering the ocean, safeguarding sea animals and their habitats.

Furthermore, beach parties contribute to various forms of marine pollution, including chemical pollution and light pollution. Chemicals from sunscreen, insect repellents, and cleaning agents can leach into the water, causing harm to coral reefs and marine organisms.

Also, the release of oil and fuel from boats and watercraft used during beach parties can lead to oil slicks and contamination, endangering marine life and coastal habitats. Bright lights used during nighttime festivities can disorientate nocturnal marine species, affecting their natural behaviours.

In conclusion, beach parties, while enjoyable for humans, pose significant threats to sea animals and marine ecosystems. The waste generated, including single-use plastics, food leftovers, and miscellaneous trash, contributes to pollution and harms marine life.

It is crucial for beach party organizers and participants to adopt responsible practices such as proper waste management, reducing plastic usage, preventing oil spills, and limiting light pollution. By doing so, one can ensure that beach parties remain enjoyable while protecting the health and well-being of our marine ecosystems.