NEW YORK (CNN) – Plastics found in the intestines of each individual sea turtle examined in a new study that…
NEW YORK (CNN) – Plastics found in the intestines of each individual sea turtle examined in a new study that found new light on the extent of plastic contamination in the world’s ocean.
The research, published in the magazine Global Change Biology, examined more than 100 sea turtles of all seven species, across the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean.
Researchers from the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, along with Greenpeace Research Laboratories, were looking for synthetic particles including microplasticism in the bodies of 102 sea turtles.
More than 800 synthetic particles were found in the turtles and researchers warned that the actual number of particles was probably 20 times higher, as only a portion of each bowel was tested.
The ubiquity of the presence of the particles and the fibers underlines the difficulty of the situation in the oceans and our need to carry on firm and decisive action on the abuse of plastic, “senior study author Brendan Godley, professor of conservation science at the University of Exeter, told CNN in an email.
The researchers conducted their research by performing necropsy ̵
1; animal autopsies – on turtles that died either by string or accidentally caught by fishermen. The studies were in North Carolina, Northern Cyprus and Queensland, Australia.
Synthetic particles found in all animals, and the most common sources of these materials were tires, cigarettes, clothing and marine equipment, including ropes and fishing nets.
“This study provides more evidence that we all need to help reduce the amount of plastic waste emitted to our seas and maintain clean, healthy and productive seas for future genes erations, “added Pennie Lindeque, senior researcher at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, in an email.
David Santillo, of Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter, said: “The threat to turtles from intrusion into fishing gear and suffocation on larger plastic plastics is well-known, but the fact that every turtle examined in this study, across three different oceans, contained microplasticism in their intestines reveals yet another, previously hidden, dimension to the problem of plastic contamination. “ Leader author Emily Duncan, of the University of Exeter Center for Ecology and Conservation, noted that the effects of particle intake on turtles are unknown as microplastic typically can pass through the bowel of the animals without causing blockages.
It is also
They said, however, that further investigations would be needed to determine the subtle effects of microplastic intake on aquatic organisms, including transmission of viruses.
“They may carry pollutants, bacteria or viruses, or they may affect the turtle on a cellular or subcellular level,” she said.
Godley said the team continues to investigate young turtles in Australia and looks at the effects of chemical pollutants on turtles. He noted that one of the possible hidden plastic threats is the spread of “other chemical toxins through the food chain.”
The highest rate of pollution was found in the Mediterranean, but scientists acknowledged that the study’s sample sizes and methodologies did not enable detailed Geographic Comparisons.
It is estimated that between 4.8 million and 12.7 million tonnes of plastic waste could enter the world’s ocean each year, which contributes to an estimated five trillion pieces of plastic in
Dilyana Mihaylova, project manager for marine plastic projects at conservation charity Fauna & Flora International, told e for CNN that the results are not “a surprise”.
“Microplastic contamination is widespread in the ocean, and when animals eat these patches, the chemicals released from them can cause serious harm,” says Mihaylova, who was not involved in the study. “Knowing where the plastic is from is critical to stopping its flow in the ocean in the first place. “