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
Treatment of saline wastewater during algae utilization
14.05.2019 | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
Plastic gets a do-over: Breakthrough discovery recycles plastic from the inside out
07.05.2019 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future
When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...
Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells
The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
21.05.2019 | Materials Sciences
21.05.2019 | Materials Sciences
21.05.2019 | Life Sciences