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
While working on a research sailboat gliding over glassy seas in the Pacific Ocean, oceanographer Giora Proskurowski noticed something new: The water was littered with confetti-size pieces of plastic debris, until the moment the wind picked up and most of the particles disappeared.
Sharks are among the most threatened of marine species worldwide due to unsustainable overfishing. They are primarily killed for their fins to fuel the growing demand for shark fin soup, which is an Asia delicacy. A new study by University of Miami (UM) scientists in the journal Marine Drugs has discovered high concentrations of BMAA in shark fins, a neurotoxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases in humans including Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig Disease (ALS).
ScienceDaily® (Aug. 30, 2011) - Preserving just 4 percent of the ocean could protect crucial habitat for the vast majority of marine mammal species, from sea otters to blue whales, according to researchers at Stanford University and the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Their findings were published in the Aug. 16 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.