We are alarmed by the increasing flood of microplastics in the sea. They are found everywhere in fish, in corals. And now they're accumulating in certain areas of the ocean. An international research project shows it. He found the highest concentration of microplastics in the sea. They are up to 1.9 million pieces in a thin layer that only covers 1 square meter.
Every year, more than 10 million tons of plastic waste are released into the oceans. Floating plastic waste in the sea has aroused public interest thanks to the movements of the “Blue Planet Effect”. Try to discourage the use of plastic straws and tote bags. However, such accumulations make up less than 1% of the plastic that reaches the world's oceans. The remaining 99% are believed to occur in the depths of the ocean. But until now it was unclear where it really ended.
The research was carried out by a diverse team. The University of Manchester and the National Oceanography Center (UK) are participating. As well as the University of Bremen (Germany), IFREMER (France) and the University of Durham (Great Britain). They published the results in the journal & # 39; Science & # 39 ;. They show how deep water currents act as conveyor belts. They carry small plastic and fiber fragments over the sea floor.
The main author of the study is Dr. Ian Kane from the University of Manchester. In a statement, he said, "Almost everyone has heard of the infamous floating plastic garbage patches in the ocean. However, we were surprised at the higher concentration of microplastics in the sea that we found here."
"We found that microplastics are not evenly distributed in the study area, but rather strong currents from the sea floor that concentrate them in certain areas," he adds.
The microplastics of the seabed mainly consist of textile and clothing fibers. These do not filter effectively in domestic wastewater treatment plants and easily get into rivers and oceans.
They slowly settle in the ocean. They can be transported quickly through episodic turbid currents, strong underwater avalanches. You travel through the underwater gorges to the deep sea floor.
This study provides the first direct relationship between the behavior of these currents and the concentrations of microplastics. The results will help predict the location of other critical deep water microplastics. There is an urgent need to continue direct research into the effects of microplastics on marine life.