Scientists have found trash in the deepest parts of the ocean, the Mariana Trench. What does this mean for us and the organisms living there?
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The Deepest Ocean Trenches Contain High Levels of Pollution
“Deep ocean trenches – considered the most remote places in the world – have levels of toxic, industrial chemicals 50 times higher than a highly polluted river system in China, an analysis of tiny deep-sea animals has found. The discovery, published in today’s Nature Ecology and Evolution journal, highlights the pervasive nature of pollution and destroys the belief these deep-sea wildernesses are largely safe from human degradation.”
Earth Day² – Encounters with Trash
“You may think that working in the deep sea means that we only see pristine environments, but unfortunately that isn’t true. During our 5,000-meter dive in Sirena Canyon, along the Mariana Trench wall, we saw multiple pieces of marine debris. A soda can, a food tin, and a piece of rope all accompanied the fish, corals, and rocks that we imaged as we moved up the slope. We encountered even more trash (nine pieces!) on our dive the following day at Enigma Seamount, including several plastic bags and a piece of clothing.”
Bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in the deepest ocean fauna
“The legacy and reach of anthropogenic influence is most clearly evidenced by its impact on the most remote and inaccessible habitats on Earth. Here we identify extraordinary levels of persistent organic pollutants in the endemic amphipod fauna from two of the deepest ocean trenches (over 10,000 metres).”
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