>
 
> FishingBoating-World.com
 
 
News Home Newsletters Photo Gallery Powerboat-World Australian Cruising World Cruising MarineBusiness-World Animated Knots
Video Gallery MarineBusiness-World
Sail-World.com : New study shows plastic pollution much worse than accepted
New study shows plastic pollution much worse than accepted


'Marine plastic concentrations in Australian waters'    . ©

Plastic pollution is likely to be much worse than officially recognised, posing a threat to Australian species and ecology, according to the latest study published in journal PLOS ONE.

Each square kilometre of Australian sea surface water is contaminated by around 4,000 pieces of tiny plastics, according to researchers, Julia Reisser, Oceanographer and PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia and Charitha Pattiaratchi, Winthrop Professor of Coastal Oceanography at UWA.

These small plastic fragments, mostly less than 5mm across, are loaded with pollutants that can negatively affect several marine species, from tiny fish and zooplankton to large turtles and whales.

Plastics can be transported from populated areas to the marine environment by rivers, wind, tides, rainwater, storm drains, sewage disposal, and flooding, or can directly reach the sea from boats and offshore installations.

Throughout their marine journey, plastics break down into increasingly smaller pieces mostly due to the effect of sunlight and heat. These plastic fragments, commonly called microplastics when smaller than 5mm, represent the vast majority of human-made debris present at beaches, seafloor, and in the water column.


Gyre ocean rubbish -  .. .  
The effects of plastics on food webs and ecosystems have become focus of concern over the last decade. It is now known that over half of our plastic objects contain at least one ingredient classified as hazardous.

To make matters worse, plastics that enter the oceans become increasingly toxic by adsorbing oily pollutants on their surface.

When plastic is ingested, these concentrated toxins can be delivered to animals and transferred up their food chains.

This biomagnification of toxins is more likely to occur when plastics are small enough to be ingested by low trophic fauna, such as small fish and zooplankton.

These tiny ocean plastics may affect the health of entire food webs, which include humans. For instance, little plastic pieces were found in the stomach of some Southern Bluefin tuna captured off Tasmania and destined for human consumption.

Until now, plastic contamination in Australian waters was mostly inferred from beach clean-up reports. There was no at-sea survey focused on sampling plastic debris in waters around this country.

Researchers used a net called Manta Net to catch floating plastics at the ocean surface. Small fragments of hard plastic were the most common type, but soft plastics, such as fragments of wrappers, and strings (mostly fishing lines) were also common.

Oceanic gyres -  .. .  
Size and types of marine plastics collected around Australia. Examples of each plastic type are shown in the photos.
These plastics were mostly made of polyolefins (polyethylene and polypropylene). These polymers account for 52% of our plastic production and are typically used to make throwaway packaging. They are also used for manufacturing fishing equipment such as crates, nets, ropes, and lines.

Our overall mean sea surface plastic concentration was 4,256.4 plastic pieces per km2. This mean value is higher than those reported for other regions, such as the Caribbean Sea (1,414 pieces per km2) and Gulf of Maine (1,534 pieces per km2).

However, in the subtropical gyres, plastics tend to accumulate due to converging ocean currents, and mean plastic concentrations are higher: from 20,328 pieces per km2 in the North Atlantic Gyre, to 334,271 pieces per km2 in the North Pacific Gyre. The Mediterranean Sea is also a global hotspot for plastics: it has around 116,000 plastics per km2.

Researchers observed higher plastic concentrations close to major Australian cities (Sydney, Brisbane) and industrial centres (Karratha) as well as in remote areas where ocean currents converged (such as south-west Tasmania).

These observations, along with our ocean current modelling results, indicate that marine plastics reach Australian waters from multiple sources: domestic and international populated areas, as well as maritime operations.

Plastics, made mostly of oil and gas, are cheaper than the natural materials they replace for the manufacture of many objects, such as packaging and fishing gear.

As a result, incentives to re-use or recycle every-day items have decreased over the last few decades. Meanwhile plastic production has increased from 1,700,00 tonnes in 1950 to 280,000,000 tonnes in 2011.

In Australia, 1,476,690 tonnes of plastics were used in 2011-2012, of which just 20.5% was recycled. Most of these plastics (around 37%) were used for manufacturing single-use disposable packaging, including plastic bottles, cups, and bags.

Marine plastic pollution is a global issue caused by our massive production of plastic waste. The solution for this recent environmental problem is not simple.

Authors of the report believe there are three important steps. First, decrease plastic waste: this could be achieved by reducing production of single-use plastic packaging. Second, improve our plastic disposal practices on land at an international level. And last, better enforce the laws prohibiting dumping of plastics at sea.

More at www.plosone.org


by Jeni Bone

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.fishingboating-world.com/index.cfm?nid=117807

10:45 PM Sun 22 Dec 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







FishingBoating-World



























From Penguins to Polar Bears by Cherie Winner,






Polar research: Six priorities for Antarctic science by Mahlon C. Kennicutt II and colleagues,
































Fishers encouraged to refresh knowledge of size and possession limits by Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry,


Newly discovered Juvenile Whale Shark Aggregation in the Red Sea
Risks to penguin populations continues
Dangerous conditions for boaters from this afternoon
NSW Environment Minister awards 'Fish Friendly' Marina Accreditations
Gold Coast International Marine Expo - High-Diver Steve Black is back
Discover science of maritime exploration at National Maritime Museum
4x4 Outdoors Show, Fishing and Boating Expo - Campfire cooking corner
More than 1,000 jungle perch fingerlings reared
Don’t get in a tangle using illegal nets
See the heat with FLIR ONE *Feature
John Temple to retire, Will Sangster appointed General Manager
Multihull Central launches Aquila range at SIBS *Feature
Dredging link to WA coral disease
Erin Loscocco, the foiling fisherman
Sydney International Boat Show - Days 3 & 4 *Feature
Endangered species are like Movie Stars - Charlie Sheens and Tom Hanks
Shellfish reefs in Port Phillip Bay to be rejuvenated
2014 Brisbane Boat Show - What's your trailer boat worth?
Operation GrindStop 2014
Big Dog Fat Cat Fishing Tournament - Big catches hauled in
Sydney International Boat Show - Day 2 *Feature   
Marine Rescue volunteers celebrate new unit and $120,000 vessel   
Inspections increased by QBFP to safeguard fishing industry   
Sydney International Boat Show - images from Day 1 *Feature   
Pantaenius Insurance - being seen in yellow, green and orange *Feature   
Sydney International Boat Show begins!   
Sydney International Boat Show - Changed conditions on Sydney Harbour   
Fraser Island annual fishing closure starts August 1   
Gold Coast Broadwater no closer to welcoming supermaxis *Feature   
Sydney International Boat Show - all systems go!   
EOMAP modelling shows what's under our water   
Great Barrier Reef in a bad state, and getting worse   
Gold Coast International Marine Expo - Organisers add extra sites   
A Mooring in Iceberg Alley   
Marine Rescue volunteers called to rescue out of fuel vessel updates   
Marine Rescue volunteers called to rescue second vessel out of fuel   
Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart   
Marine Rescue volunteers rescue seven in marathon operation   
Reminder for boaties to be cautious near blind corners   
Watch this whale lift a Kayak clear out of the water   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW FBW
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT