About 250 billion microscopic bits of plastic floating in the Mediterranean Sea, posing a threat to marine biodiversity, which reverberates in the food chain, experts estimate. The announcement was made by marine biologists from France and Belgium, which analyzed water samples collected in July on the coast of France, northern Italy and Spain at a depth of 10-15 cm.
"The rough estimates are that there are some 250 billion micro fragments throughout the Mediterranean, "explained François Galgani, the French Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer).The number corresponds to 4,371 tiny pieces of plastic - with average weight of 1.8 milligrams - found in the samples, "that exceed roughly 500 tons throughout the Mediterranean, " said Galgani.
Ninety percent of samples collected by volunteers from the Mediterranean in Danger Expedition (MED, its acronym in English) on a yacht of 17 meters, contained these fragments. Sampling covered only the surface and gave only a preliminary assessment. Future collections on the coast of Gibraltar, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Sardinia and southern Italy will be made in 2011 for a more comprehensive analysis.
Small plastic fragments are a constant threat at sea, because the plankton are mixed, and then eaten by small fish that are eaten by larger predators, said the expedition Med. There is accumulating evidence of the damage this causes the greatest forms of marine life, including seals and turtles.
"The only solution is to contain the micro fragments the sources,” said the member of the Expedition MED, Dumontet Bruno.
The group is launching an online petition to demand the European Union (EU) to establish rules about the disposal and biodegradability of consumer goods.
As if the pollution caused by humans was not enough the Mediterranean Sea still suffers from invasive species, new arrival of tropical Atlantic species, uncontrolled tourism, shipping, overfishing and aquaculture.
Sign this petition and ask the European Union leaders to deal with this problem and clean up the Mediterranean Sea.
Tell them not to pollute more and clean up all this crap!
Photo Credit: Michael Blann/ Thinkstok
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