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Plastic waste harbors coastal species at sea

Plastic waste harbors coastal species at sea

According to a study published in early December, many coastal species drift on plastic waste and end up in the middle of the ocean. Thus, the local fauna is threatened by these specimens, which have become invasive.

“every year, writing popular scienceAnd At least 14 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the oceans, resulting in harmful pollution to marine life, considered food, and suffocation or entrapment in this garbage.” But the popular science website also highlights an even more surprising result of the spread of this waste.

According to a study published on December 2 in reconsidering Nature CommunicationsAnd “Plants and animals leave their coastal habitat as they surf this growing tide of trash: they then travel hundreds of kilometers to the ‘seventh continent’, the largest accumulation of plastic, drifting into the Pacific Ocean, where they create an entirely new type of ecosystem.”.

Competition for resources

Sea anemones, brittle stars, marine crustaceans, algae, and even coastal fish appear on the high seas, and the problem is that these species compete with marine animals for resources needed for their survival, and some become invasive.

“Researchers have long recognized that coastal organisms can reach other, sometimes distant, coasts by clinging to marine debris, especially driftwood or algae,” continuous popular science He explains in particular that a lot of “inhabited” plastic waste was found after the 2011 tsunami in Japan. The site continues:

Before the advent of plastic, which is puncture-resistant and abundant, these makeshift pontoons were rare, and brittle. Science has paid dearly for these coastal flora and fauna lost at sea, where food and shelter are scarce.”

While it is still difficult to quantify the scale of the environmental ramifications of this phenomenon, researchers fear that the journey of these coastal species will continue as plastic waste accumulates. They can conquer in the end “New Coasts”.

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Source

Since 1872, “Popular Science” has been providing information to the general public about the performance and importance of new developments in science and technology. It offers the latest news from labs and shows too

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