Gallery

Microplastics: A truly colourful pile

Scientists define microplastics as collection of small and large fragments, pellets, fibers, sheets, and other objects smaller than five millimeters. They come in different shapes and colors - a diversity that it actually breathtaking, as this gallery shows.

The photos are provided by our colleagues from the Chesapeake Bay Program. The images were taken by Will Parson at the laboratory of Dr. Lance Yonkos in the Department of Environmental Science & Technology at the University of Maryland. Find more images on the Chesapeake Bay Program Flickr page.

News

Micro-plastic particles in edible fish and herbivores

Marine Litter

Micro-plastic particles in edible fish and herbivores

Micro-plastic particles pose a risk not only to sea birds, whales and organisms at the bottom of the sea. In two new studies, scientists of the Alfred Wegener Institute Hemholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) show that plastic waste is also eaten by nautili as well as North and Baltic Sea fish such as cod and mackerel.

Plastic Litter taints the sea surface, even in the Arctic

Marine litter

Plastic Litter taints the sea surface, even in the Arctic

In a new study, researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), show for the first time that marine litter can even be found at the sea surface of Arctic waters. Though it remains unclear how the litter made it so far north, it is likely to pose new problems for local marine life, the authors report on the online portal of the scientific journal Polar Biology. Plastic has already been reported from stomachs of resident seabirds and Greenland sharks.

Spotlight on marine litter: A new book presents the current state of research

Press release

Spotlight on marine litter: A new book presents the current state of research

A new book gives an overview of the current state of research and of research gaps concerning litter in our oceans: “Marine Anthropogenic Litter” will be released by Springer-Verlag as an Open Access publication in June 2015. The editors brought together experts from around the globe to contribute to the book. Estimates of the amount of litter in the world’s oceans, its distribution, effects on humans and biota, and prevention strategies are just some of the complex topics addressed in the book’s 16 chapters.