Chinese ships dump so much human waste into the ocean, you can see it from space

Hundreds of Chinese ships have been dumping so much raw sewage onto the same spots of the South China Sea every day for at least five years, you can now see it in satellite photos.

“When the ships don’t move, the poop piles up,” said Liz Derr, founder and CEO of Simularity, a software company that creates technology that analyzes satellite imagery. “It is so intense you can see it from space.”

And beyond the gross factor, it’s causing major damage to marine life including fish and reef.

From The Washington Post:

Satellite images over the last five years show how human waste, sewage and wastewater have accumulated and caused algae in a cluster of reefs in the Spratlys region where hundreds of Chinese fishing ships have anchored in batches, said Liz Derr …

At least 236 ships were spotted in the atoll, internationally known as Union Banks, on June 17 alone, she said at a Philippine online news forum on China’s actions in the South China Sea, which Beijing has claimed virtually in its entirety.

“This is a catastrophe of epic proportions and we are close to the point of no return,” Derr said.

She warned that schools of fish, including migratory tuna, breed in the reefs that are being damaged and could cause fish stocks to considerably decline in an offshore area that is a key regional food source.