New plastic threat to marine life

Are marine animals absorbing tiny plastic shards in the water?

Author: Pat
3rd February 2012
 

Tiny fibres of plastic are entering the food chain and threatening marine life.

A new study has found that so-called ‘microplastic’ fibres are shed by clothes during washing. These are then washed into the sewerage system and find their way into outfalls near urban areas.

And not surprisingly, these tiny plastic fibres are ending up in the stomachs of marine animals.

Microplastic fibres are described as less than 1mm across, so all kinds of small fish and shellfish are consuming them, where over time it builds up in the animal’s cells.

The concentration of microplastic fibres in the sea appeared to be greatest near to urban population centres, so the research team focused their efforts there.

US-based National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis concluded that up to 1,900 microplastic fibres are shed by a single garment during each wash.

Samples were taken from 18 beaches worldwide including Australia, the UK, India and Singapore.

This depressing study suggests the threat from plastic oceans could be much smaller – yet much bigger at the same time – than previously thought.

 
 
MORE News
Captain Don Walsh of bathyscaphe Trieste fame

Captain Don Walsh Award for Ocean Exploration nominations open

Honours an individual for their outstanding, sustained, international contribution to marine exploration

Oceans S2 dive computer

Oceans S2 dive computer crowdfunding campaign launches

Up to five transmitters can communicate at a range of 15 metres apart

Picture of Elite Diving in the Red Sea

BSAC Egypt launches in Hurghada

The Red Sea offers a wealth of diving and training opportunities for British divers

Emperor Divers Covid Heroes

Emperor Divers launches ‘Covid Diver Heroes’ initiative

Nominate a hero for a free liveaboard trip

 
 
©2021 British Diver