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Oceana Examines Growing Problem of Marine Litter

14 August 2014

EUROPE - Oceana has joined a research expedition arranged and led by the University of Örebro and Pangaea Exploration to study marine litter in the Baltic Sea, an increasing problem in the world’s oceans.

During the course of a month, this expedition will visit several key areas of the Baltic Sea, all the way from Kattegat, to the northernmost parts in the Bothnian Bay.

“Oceana has carried out three expeditions in the Baltic Sea, where we have gathered information on the status of the species and habitats. Through this, we have also observed the serious problem of marine litter. It is sad to find human imprints in places where they do not belong. Hopefully the results of this expedition will further efforts to solve this problem. This requires urgent action from decision makers and cannot be left only to the hands of civil society and voluntary actions,” says Hanna Paulomäki, project manager at Oceana’s Baltic Sea office.

In the Baltic Sea, there is a lack of knowledge surrounding this issue. Worryingly, studies show it can have a negative effect on marine life.

“Newer research shows that micro-plastic may have dangerous consequences for the whole ecosystem via the food chain. Joining this expedition will allow us to increase the available knowledge on some of the areas we have studied during Oceana’s earlier expeditions, and gather new data for our future protection proposals,” added Christina Abel, marine biologist at Oceana.

The one-month expedition departed from Gothenburg in early August. Oceana will join them only on the leg to the Bothnian Bay, which lies at the northernmost part of the Baltic Sea. In the Baltic Sea, Oceana mainly works with marine protected areas and sustainable fisheries.

TheFishSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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