"As we considered the cumulative effect of what humankind does to the oceans, the implications became far worse than we had individually realised. “We’ve sat in one forum and spoken to each other about what we’re seeing, and we’ve ended up with a picture showing that almost right across the board we’re seeing changes that are happening faster than we’d thought, or in ways that we didn’t expect to see for hundreds of years."
— BBC News - World’s oceans in ‘shocking’ decline
During one expedition, the researcher and his team witnessed a heartbreaking scene between a mother dolphin and her deceased newborn calf. The mother could be seen repeatedly lifting the corpse to the surface, presumably in an attempt to get it to breathe.
“This was repeated over and over again, sometimes frantically, during two days of observation,” said Gonzalvo. “The mother never separated from her calf…. [She] seemed unable to accept the death.”
Gonzalvo experienced a similar scene a year later, when he came across a pod of dolphins that appeared to be assisting a 2 to 3-month-old dolphin that was having difficulty swimming.
“The group appeared stressed, swimming erratically,” he said. “Adults were trying to help the dying animal stay afloat, but it kept sinking.”
— Do dolphins mourn their dead? | MNN - Mother Nature Network
"Many of the SEAPLEX scientists are considerably more concerned about the environmental impacts of these tiny pieces than we would be over a few larger pieces, or even a huge plastic island. There are many reasons for this, including toxins and the potential for such pieces to be ingested, but I think one of the most underrated impacts is the introduction of hard surfaces to an ecosystem that naturally has very few of them. Microbes, plants, and animals that live on hard surfaces are very different than those that live floating freely in the ocean, and adding all that plastic is providing habitat that would not naturally exist out there."
— Does the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” exist? « SEAPLEX