An international study led by a University of Queensland researcher has revealed more than half the world's sea turtles have ingested plastic or other human rubbish.
The study, led by Dr Qamar Schuyler from UQ's School of Biological Sciences, found the east coasts of Australia and North America, Southeast Asia, southern Africa, and Hawaii were particularly dangerous for turtles due to a combination of debris loads and high species diversity.
"The results indicate that approximately 52 per cent of turtles world-wide have eaten debris," Dr Schuyler said.
A report released today by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on the occasion of World Oceans Day recommends a precautionary approach toward microplastic management, with an eventual phase-out and ban of their use in personal care products and cosmetics (PCCP).
The study, entitled Plastic in Cosmetics: Are We Polluting the Environment Through our Personal Care: Plastic ingredients that contribute to marine microplastic litter' is a compilation of currently available knowledge on the linkages between cosmetics and plastic pollution in the oceans.
Micro-plastics – tiny pieces of plastic or fibres which may act as a pathway for persistent, bio accumulating and toxic substances entering the food chain – are increasingly being found in the oceans and may prove to be as harmful to marine life as more obvious, larger debris, such as plastic bags, according to a new report.
A landmark study, published in the journal Science on Thursday 13 February, reveals just how much plastic makes its way in the world's oceans and the top countries responsible for the ocean-bound trash.
About 8 million tons of plastic waste wound up in the world's oceans in 2010, and researchers warn that the cumulative amount could increase more than tenfold in the next decade unless the international community improves its waste management practices.
New behavioural research led by Cranfield ecological scientists shows that, contrary to historical beliefs, sharks are quick to learn and have good memories.
Drs Joel Kimber and Andrew Gill, who designed and conducted the study, suggest that this type of research will help improve the status of the much-misunderstood sharks. This is vitally important as many species are endangered and need protection and public support, because of dramatic population declines caused by unregulated fishing.
Scientists have discovered a diverse multitude of microbes colonizing and thriving on flecks of plastic that have polluted the oceans—a vast new human-made flotilla of microbial communities that they have dubbed the "plastisphere."
Using the latest satellite tracking technology, conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the University of Exeter (UK), and the Government of Mexico have completed a ground-breaking study on a mysterious ocean giant: the manta ray.
The research team has produced the first published study on the use of satellite telemetry to track the open-ocean journeys of the world's largest ray, which can grow up to 25 feet in width. MORE