Marine species living on Pacific Ocean garbage
April 19, 2023 - Unexpected marine animals are thriving on the massive amounts of plastic waste that has accumulated in the Pacific Ocean — a site know as the ”Great Pacific Garbage Patch”.
In a new study published in the Nature Ecology & Evolution journal on Monday, a team of researchers revealed that dozens of species of coastal invertebrate organisms have been able to survive and reproduce on plastic garbage that’s been floating in the ocean for years.
The scientists said that the findings suggest plastic pollution in the ocean might be enabling the creation of new floating ecosystems of species that are not normally able to survive in the open ocean.
Unlike organic material that decomposes and sinks within months or, at most, a few years, plastic debris can float in the oceans for a much longer time, giving creatures the opportunity to survive and reproduce in the open ocean for years.
“It was surprising to see how frequent the coastal species were. They were on 70% of the debris that we found,” Linsey Haram, a science fellow at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the study’s lead author, told CNN.
- Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now so huge and permanent that a coastal ecosystem is thriving on it (CNN)
- Life is finding a way on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (Gizmodo)
- Great Pacific Garbage Patch (The Ocean Cleanup)
- This floating ocean garbage is home to a surprising amount of life from the coasts (NPR)
- Garbage patches (NOAA)