This category contains 8 posts
Image 2: a) sea pen and b) hermit crab in their habitat before being collected taken by Taylor, ML.  c) polyester microfibre and d) acrylic microfibre found within deep sea animals, taken by Gwinnet, C.  (Figure used with permission from Taylor et al., 2016).

First evidence of plastic microfibre consumption by deep-sea animals

For the first time ever, scientists have found evidence that deep sea animals are actually consuming plastic microfibres. Read more about the study and why we should care.

Fig. 3. Entangled Sea Turtle. Source: NOAA.

Let’s Ghost Fishing for Halloween!

Ghost fishing is ghastly because it creates underwater graveyards for wildlife. The authors covered here wrote a new review of gear entanglement among mammals, reptiles, and sharks. Find out what they discovered by reading today’s post!

Fig. 6: Photos E and F show larvae unexposed to microplastics, G and H show larvae exposed to an average concentration of microplastics, and I and J show larvae exposed to a high concentration of microplastics. In photos G-J, small, clear circles are microplastic! Fish shown in I and J have clearly ingested a lot of it.

Small fish dine on small plastics and that’s a BIG problem

We’ve heard a lot about plastics in the ocean, but a new study shows the ecological implications of fish eating plastic. Here, researchers found that larval fish are preferentially consuming microplastics and it’s stunting their growth, altering their behavior, and increases death rates.

Fig 1: Marine debris on the beach at Green Island in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Author: Keeley Belva, NOAA. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kure_debris_440.jpg

To I.D. Debris: LIDAR as a tool to identify trash on the beach

Scientists may have a new option for figuring out how much debris litters our beaches and what it all is! Find out more in today’s World Oceans Day post on marine debris!


Plankton are eating plastic!

Zooplankton, the tiny animals that make up the base of marine food webs, are ingesting microplastics. Given the widespread abundance of microplastics in the ocean, this finding could have serious ramifications for zooplankton and their predators.

Turtle eating plastic.

The new fad diet for sea turtles? Plastics

Paper: Wedemeyer, K. R., George, S., James, H. B., Peterson, T. D., Wicksten, M. K. and Plotkin, P. T. (2015). High frequency of occurrence of anthropogenic debris ingestion by sea turtles in the North Pacific Ocean. Mar. Biol. Background If you’re a coastal resident, I’m sure you see the same thing as I do when I […]

Besseling 2015 - Figure 1

Tiny plastic pieces accumulate in a huge marine filter-feeder

Scientists find microplastic pieces in the intestines of a baleen whale for the first time.

Fig. 1. Microplastics. The penny can provide a sense of scale for how small these are! These are from the Great Lakes “Garbage Patch” but similar types and sizes are in the oceans. Both freshwater and marine ecosystems are at risk. Photo credit: 5gyres. Photo source: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2013/04/12/new-concerns-about-plastic-pollution-in-great-lakes-garbage-patch/

Corals consume microplastics! Talk about an unhealthy diet!

The dangerous diet fad among marine organisms is spreading! New study shows corals consume microplastics.

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