Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Charity Monitors Plastic Bag Spread From Land To Sea

03.03.2008
Marinelife monitors UK Waters for discarded plastic bags which kill whales

Marinelife welcomes any move to reduce the impact discarded plastic bags are having on our oceans. The charity which conducts year round whale and dolphin research in the English Channel, North Sea and Bay of Biscay has also been working closely with Aberdeen University for over 2 years to record all plastic rubbish along its research route.

This is an issue close to the charity’s heart, having been concerned with the ever increasing sightings of plastic throughout its research area for a number of years, especially around major ports, so it was delighted to be involved in the valuable research.

Marinelife believe this issue poses both a short and long term threat to marine wildlife and as well as recording sightings of plastic rubbish, has also provided sponsorship for a PhD. The research is focused on some of the rarely seen beaked whales – species such as the Cuvier’s Beaked Whale and Sowerby’s Beaked Whale, which have increasingly been found dead with stomachs filled with plastic bags. The plastic bags are eaten by the whales and become lodged in their stomach and intestines which can at best interfere with normal food uptake and at worst completely block the digestive system – death being an inevitable consequence.

Marinelife researcher, relief wildlife officer and PhD student Jackie Smith commented, “We have recorded plastic bags in the Bay of Biscay over 120 miles from shore in waters over 4000 meters in depth. Beaked whale species in particular are highly susceptible to swallowing plastic bags as they are believed to strongly resemble their target prey, squid. Other species of large whales, which take large mouthfuls of water during feeding, also take in plastic bags by accident and hence are also at risk. The fact that beaked whale species whose natural habitat is deep waters where they catch prey at depths in excess of 1000 meters are being found dead with high concentrations of plastic in their stomachs, highlights how widespread the problem of plastic is.

Marinelife researcher, PR & Publicity Officer, Adrian Shephard commented, “It is only when you actually start recording the number of bags you realise how much of a problem this is and while Marinelife praises any action which could reduce the pollution of our oceans and the threats to our wildlife, it hopes the steps taken by a leading high street store will be built upon by other supermarket chains.”

Marinelife’s unique long term monitoring project, the Biscay Dolphin Research Programme (BDRP) has been conducting scientific monthly whale, dolphin and seabird surveys through the English Channel and Bay of Biscay for the last 13 years, using the P&O Cruise Ferry, The Pride of Bilbao, as a research platform. In addition, a BDRP full-time Wildlife Officer collects daily data on whale and dolphin abundance. The BDRP surveys have detected more than 20 species of whale and dolphin in the Bay of Biscay and counted over a hundred thousand animals.

Adrian Shephard | alfa
Further information:
http://www.marine-life.org.uk/pressrelease/290208.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>