Partie 2 : La question environnementale

Chapitre 18 : Other environmental degradation

Threats to the oceans, page 42

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an oil tanker
a supertanker
to run aground
an oil spill, a black tide
an oil slick
tank cleaning
to spill
an oiled bird
to collapse
a trawler

The trash vortex is an area the size of France in the North Pacific in which six kilos of plastic for every kilo of plankton swirls slowly like a clock, choked with dead fish, seabirds, sea turtles and marine mammals that get snared.

Overfishing as well as unsustainable fishing practices are pushing many fish stocks to the point of collapse.

Deep-sea trawling threatens the seafloor’s health and diversity.

Waste, page 42

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rubbish, trash, garbage
a rubbish dump, a tip, a landfill
to dispose of
to discard
a water table
an effluent
an algal bloom
to dump toxic wastes

Plastic constitutes 90% of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface.

Plastic pollution has a deadly effect on wildlife. Thousands of animals are killed each year after ingesting plastic or getting entangled in it.

Food for thought, page 43

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How can a fishing fleet do so much damage so quickly? Until recently, many fish, especially deep-water fish, were too hard to find to make tempting commercial targets. But technical advances have given fishermen the power to peer beneath the waves and plot their position with unprecedented accuracy. Sonar makes it possible to locate large shoals of fish that would otherwise remain concealed beneath tens, even hundreds of feet of water. And once a fishing hot spot is pinpointed by sonar, satellite-navigation systems enable vessels to return unerringly to the same location year after year. In this fashion, fishermen from New Zealand to the Philippines have been able to [target deep-sea fish] as they gather to spawn, in some cases virtually eliminating entire generations of reproducing adults.

The New York Times, August 11, 1997.