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

Tracking marine litter in the Arctic from the air

Marine Litter

Tracking marine litter in the Arctic from the air

On the current Polarstern expedition, scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute have deployed a multicopter with a high-resolution camera to quantify marine litter floating on the sea surface. The deep-sea researchers had recorded a marked increase of man-made litter on the Arctic seafloor over the last ten years. That was the reason to now start the programme for the quantitative analysis of waste-entry on the sea surface.

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.