Friday 22 August, 2014

Trash concentration in ocean as dangerous as climatic change

Published On: Tue, Jun 17th, 2014 | Marine Biology | By BioNews

Large concentrations of trash in the oceans, also known as “plastic soups”, are as dangerous as climatic change, one of the experts in the field, Mike Moore said, Australian media reported.

These high concentrations of ocean garbage “are currently killing a more animals than climate change”, Moore said.

Mike Moore was the first person to document the large amount of trash in the Pacific Ocean in 1980.

The scientist of California-based Algalita Marine Research Institute told the local channel ABC that “35 percent of fish caught have on average one or two plastic pieces in their stomachs”, reports EFE.

“We are facing a new phenomenon. In fact, it is a new habitat which does not have precendents in the planet’s history,” Moore added.

Moore, along with a group of scientists, will travel to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as Pacific trash vortex, in July this year.

This large amount of garbage, composed mainly of plastic and sludge, curently measures around 700,000 sq km and is extended from the Californian coast, surrounds Hawaii and reaches up to Japan.

Also, studies conducted using computer simulators suggest that the tsunami of 2011 brought a lot of debris to this vortex.

Last year, scientist Erik Van Sebelle, who led the study for the Australian Research Council (ARC), alerted that the “plastic soup” will keep on increasing for the next 500 years despite all the efforts to eliminate it.

This huge surface of trash comprises of large quantities of palstic and other residues which remain trapped due to the currents of the five major ocean gyres and eddies.

The plastic particles are sometimes very small and occupy extensive areas that many fish species confuse with planktons.

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