70% of the planet’s resources are found in the oceans, but they are already contaminated by 88%. To solve this funds will be applied in the amount of 100 billion U $ S per year in order to proceed to complete decontamination and full recovery of the fish mass of its fishing grounds.

70% of the planet’s resources are found in the oceans, but they are already contaminated by 88%. To solve this funds will be applied in the amount of 100 billion U $ S per year in order to proceed to complete decontamination and full recovery of the fish mass of its fishing grounds.

The amount of plastic that ends up in the oceans, ranging between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons each year, can increase tenfold in the next decade not improve international waste management practices.

So international experts said in a press conference during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, for its acronym in English) held in San Jose (California).

Jenna Jambeck at the University of Georgia, together with some members of his team, presented a study to be published this week in the journal Science in which analyzed data from the solid waste collected in 192 countries with coast in 2010.

According to his data, the coastal countries generated about 275 million tons of plastic waste, of which between 4.8 and 12.7 million tonnes ended up in the sea, as fragments of nets and rope, broken bottles, mesh, among others.

The scientists took as reference data the average, which is 8 million tons for the first time to give a precise figure of the amount of plastic that goes into the oceans every year.

“Eight million tons equivalent to five shopping bags full of plastic bags one on each foot (30 cm) from the coastline of the 192 countries analyzed,” he said at a press conference Jambeck.

Responsible countries:

Research indicates that those responsible for the majority of the spill is a list of 20 countries, including China first, followed by Indonesia and the Philippines, and US closes.

But “not about pointing accusingly, but to examine what leads to these countries to be on that list” and find solutions, Jambeck said.

The researchers found that waste that is not collected and the garbage that was lost in the process of waste management were the largest source of plastic waste in the ocean.

“We need to reduce waste generation and increase the amount of waste collected and managed properly,” he said.

According to projections, the number of plastic dumping at sea is increasing every year, so this 2015 estimate that the oceans will reach 9.1 million tons.

Next decade:

Of not taking action, the team warns that the amount of plastic could be ten times higher in the next decade and have a cumulative impact of up to 155 million tons by 2025.

To get this data, they have created a prediction model which in addition to quantify the amount of waste other factors are analyzed countries and its population density and its economic situation, World Bank data.

The experts considered to be necessary to design a “global strategy” for priority to be given plastic collection, reduce their use and improve waste management to prevent somewhere in the process end up in the sea.

“Remove large amounts of plastic waste will not be profitable and it is simply impossible,” said Roland Geyer meanwhile, professor of industrial ecology of the School of Environmental Science & Management.

“This means we need to prevent the plastic enters the oceans,” Geyer said, noting that 8 million metric tons are equivalent to world production of green plastic in 1961. EFE

88% of the ocean surface is contaminated with plastic

Spanish researchers have shown that there are five major clusters of plastic waste in the oceans that meet the big five turns of surface water circulation.

The study, conducted by scientists at the University of Cádiz (UCA) showed that in addition to the known accumulation of plastic waste in the North Pacific, there are similar blocks in the central North Atlantic, the South Pacific and the South Atlantic Ocean Indian.

Researchers have also shown that the surface waters of the ocean currents intersections are not necessarily the final destination of these wastes, since large amounts of micro-plastics are moving to the marine food chain and the ocean floor, as published in the renowned journal ‘ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ (PNAS, for its acronym in English).

According to this study, the amount of plastic accumulated on the surface of the oceans is in the tens of thousands of tons. “These microplastics influence behavior and in the food chain of marine organisms. On the one hand, small plastic fragments often accumulate pollutants, if swallowed, can pass bodies during digestion. Likewise, there may be gastrointestinal obstructions, which are another of the most common problems with this waste. In addition, the abundance of floating plastic fragments allows many small organisms colonize navigate and places previously inaccessible to them, “as law professor and researcher at the UCA Andrew Cózar, quoted by ‘Diario de Cadiz’.

Due to solar radiation, plastics objects which are transported by ocean currents they crack and break down into smaller and smaller fragments. However, small plastic fragments (known as micro-plastics) can last hundreds of years.

Plastic waste found on the surface of the oceans (between 10,000 and 40,000 tons) are mainly polyethylene and polypropylene polymers used in products such as bags, beverage containers and food packaging, household items or toys flowing into the oceans through storm water flows, a problem expected to worsen in the coming decades.

This team of researchers led by Cózar has focused on the analysis of more than 3,000 samples taken in open ocean waters during the Malaspina Expedition 2010. These tests showed that 88% of the ocean surface containing plastic waste sampled.

The UCA stressed the need to go a step further and “in addition to conducting a selective cleaning of waste on the coasts and oceans, we should get to the root of the problem, ie the continued massive entry plastic the oceans”. It also proposes a redesign of plastic products to be really 100% reusable.

The oceans and seas are most contaminated

Almost every corner of the oceans has been damaged in some way by human activity and about 41% of its waters are seriously affected, according to a study published this week.

Source: AFP

Coastal areas are polluted by waste. Oysters and fish are disappearing. Floating islands of trash the size of small states stagnate it used to be running water. Birds and whales are struck by ships which leave a trail of oil and waste in their wake.

But the greatest damage is climate change, according to the first global study on the human impact on marine ecosystems, to be published in the journal Science. “It has wide and intense impacts,” said Kim Selkoe, co-author of the study and researcher at the University of Hawaii.

A significant increase in water temperatures was observed in the North Atlantic between 1995 and 2005, and is expected to increase further global warming temperatures elsewhere. These higher temperatures increase plankton levels, and change the species composition at higher levels of the food chain. Also leads to higher levels of disease and changes in sea circulation, Selkoe said.

The oceans are becoming more acidic as they absorb carbon dioxide and plants are being affected by increased ultraviolet radiation.

“The other really surprising thing to me is that our fishing information shows that 80% of the oceans in the world are exploited,” he added. “There is no place where fish can hide (…) fishing boats are everywhere,” he said.

While subsistence fishing has a limited impact on the marine ecology, commercial fishing has a high impact and throw tons of fish, birds and sea mammals died. This has threatened to extinguish many species of turtles, birds, whales and dolphins.

The boat traffic is the third largest culprit for the pollution. “When the map looks maritime traffic, there is a solid coverage of the world’s oceans,” said researcher in a telephone interview. “The fuel is spilled, no noise pollution that disturbs the whales (…) it has a significant impact on ecosystems.” Out tours boats sensitive areas like coral reefs and continental sockets, could significantly reduce the impact on marine life, he said.

The most affected waters in the world include vast areas of the North Sea, the South and East China Sea, the Caribbean Sea, the east coast of North America, the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Bering Sea, and several regions of the western Pacific.

Only 3.7% of the ocean area is considered low impact and most of it is located near the poles, where temporary and permanent ice limits human activity. “Unfortunately, as the polar ice sheets disappear with global warming and human activities spread into these areas, there is greater risk of rapid degradation of these and other ecosystems,” said Carrie Kappel, study co-author and researcher at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis.

Experts from thirty countries have warned Rome that every year 120 million people suffer gastrointestinal diseases and 50 million suffer severe respiratory problems for swimming and bathing in polluted seas and oceans.

So the specialists-scientists and politicians from 31 countries agreed to contribute to increasing the protection of the seas and promoting “blue growth” (blue growth), which proposes to use in a sustainable manner, the ocean as an economic opportunity. After three days of meetings EurOcean 2014, participants signed the Rome Declaration, in which they pledged to develop a plan for the next five years with a supervision of the most comprehensive and integrated oceans where Europe “will take the initiative “.

The oceans have potential for tourism and for the development of clean energy. The EurOcean 2014 brought together 340 scientists, politicians and experts to examine the relationship between oceans and human health, among others summoned by the Council of the European Union and the European Commission as well as private institutions.

“In a context of global change and population growth, it is necessary to balance economic gain with environmental care and human welfare” includes the approved text. One participant in the meeting, Professor of Zoology at the University of Salento (South-Italy) Fedinando Boero, told EFE that the consequences of unsustainable growth are not just for the environment, but also pose major damage in the health of people.

“If you pollute the seas, eat contaminated food,” he said. The oceans are 70% of the natural wealth of the planet. In addition, the teacher criticized that “more research efforts are devoted to search for life on other planets that protect life on this”. At the same time he hoped and indicated that the scientific community knows the way forward, which happens to involve the public and make them aware so that they understand the importance of the oceans.

Boero said that the oceans account for 70% of the natural wealth of the planet and offer a number “undiscovered” of goods and services. Among them are the potential for tourism, the development of clean energy, the huge area that conform to produce food and the regulatory role played climate. The resources offered by the seas, he insisted, must be used with common sense, because “it is not to destroy resources, but to use them wisely.”

He recalled that one must be careful with the protection of coastal areas and suggested that “maybe should be limited to a maximum number of people on the shores of the beaches”. In this regard, the expert said that many coastal areas, including some in Spain, have based their economic growth in the destruction of natural capital. He also said the country should feel “proud of their scientific community,” which plays a leading role in observing systems, especially in the Balearics, as noted.


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