» Pollution



“Earthworms of the sea” are being harmed by micro-plastic pollution

The Guardian reports, 2nd December 2013: “Tiny bits of plastic rubbish ingested by marine worms is significantly harming their health and will have wider impact on ocean ecosystems, scientists have found. Microplastic particles, measuring less than 5mm in size, have been accumulating in the oceans since the 1960s and are now the most abundant form […]

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Washing each synthetic garment can release “up to 1,900 plastic fibres” into the sea

BBC News, 27th January 2012, reports: “Microscopic plastic debris from washing clothes is accumulating in the marine environment and could be entering the food chain, a study has warned. Researchers traced the “microplastic” back to synthetic clothes, which released up to 1,900 tiny fibres per garment every time they were washed. Earlier research showed plastic […]

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The death of albatrosses from plastic pollution – does it foretell our fate too?

The Guardian, 3rd November 2009, reports: “Chris Jordan’s startling photographs capture the deceased albatross chicks that have washed up on an island the north of the Pacific, their stomachs overflowing with plastic litter. To see these photographs, click here. It’s a discovery to appal a modern-day Captain Cook. A vast plastic terra incognita, composed of […]

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“Plastic Bag”, a short film charting the life of a plastic bag from supermarket to the ocean

This short film by American director Ramin Bahrani traces the epic, existential journey of a plastic bag (voiced by Werner Herzog) searching for its lost maker, the woman who took it home from the store and eventually discarded it. Along the way, it encounters strange creatures, experiences love in the sky, grieves the loss of […]

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Film “Synthetic Sea” – how plastics have entered the marine food chain, and the consequences

This film “Synthetic Sea”  has been produced by the Algalita Marine Research Foundation and records c. 2010 the results of a research project to evaluate the presence and impact of non-biodegradable plastic (man-made plastics) on the oceans and the life that lives there. The implications of the facts portrayed by this film are worrisome, to […]

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Film : Garbage Island: An Ocean Full of Plastic

Captain Charles Moore (USA) and the Algalita Marine Research Foundation has made a 3 part film (each part c. 20 mins) which records a research trip to measure and record the nature and extent of plastic pollution in the ocean gyregyre A circular pattern of currents in an ocean of the Pacific Ocean. This film […]

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London and R. Thames placing huge plastic pollution load on the North Sea

The Guardian reports, 2nd January 2014: “An unseen stream of plastic rubbish flowing along the bed of the river Thames and out into the North Sea will have far-reaching effects on marine life, a new report indicates. Scientists from the Natural History Museum and Royal Holloway, University of London, collected rubbish over a three-month period […]

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Do 16 ships still create as much pollution as all the cars in the world?

From the archives of The Daily Mail (21st November 2009), we report: “Last week [November 2009] it was revealed that 54 oil tankers are anchored off the coast of Britain, refusing to unload their fuel until prices have risen. We’ve all noticed it. The filthy black smoke kicked out by funnels on cross-Channel ferries, cruise […]

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Australian government approves new port dredging near Great Barrier Reef

The Guardian reports, 10th December 2013: “The Australian environment minister, Greg Hunt, has approved controversial dredging off the Queensland coast that will help create one of the world’s largest coal ports, while imposing some of the “strictest conditions in Australian history” to safeguard the health of the Great Barrier Reef. Hunt said he would allow […]

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Fishing for plastic in the Southern Ocean

The Guardian reports, 10th December 2013: ” Erik van Sebille is looking for something very much out of the ordinary in the Southern Ocean: plastic. He has come to one of the most remote parts of the world — as far as it is possible to go from major concentrations of people — to look […]

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Greenpeace v. Russia in the Arctic: the plight of the Arctic Sunrise crew darkens

As 6 weeks of 24 hour winter darkness approaches, the arrested crew of the Greenpeace vessel “Arctic Sunrise” face continued detention in prison in Murmansk, Russia. Greenpeace has produced a video of the plight facing the crew and journalists caught up in this situation. Also the Guardian reports, 7th November 2013: “Russia will bring more […]

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Concern that the discharge of mine water from old collieries in S. Tyneside could pollute the sea

The South Shields Gazette reports, 30th October 2013: “The Coal Authority plans to abstract mine water from a borehole at Whitburn Coastal Park to drain water which has flooded the former Westoe, Wearmouth and Whitburn Collieries. The water would then be discharged directly into the sea through a new 270ft outfall pipe to a point […]

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Yachtsman describes the Pacific Ocean as “dead”

The Guardian reports, 21st October 2013: “An Australian sailor has described parts of the Pacific Ocean as “dead” because of severe overfishing, with his vessel having to repeatedly swerve debris for thousands of kilometres on a journey from Australia to Japan. Ivan MacFadyen told of his horror at the severe lack of marine life and […]

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Independent professional panel says health of oceans is “declining fast”

BBC News, 3rd October, 2013, reports: “The health of the world’s oceans is deteriorating even faster than had previously been thought, a report says. A review from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), warns that the oceans are facing multiple threats. They are being heated by climate change, turned slowly less […]

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Armed Russian boarding of Greenpeace’s Arctic protest vessel

The Guardian reports, 19th September 2013: “Armed Russian military have stormed a Greenpeace ship protesting against oil exploitation in remote Arctic waters. According to the last communications from the Arctic Sunrise before all contact was cut at around 4.30pm BST, the Russians dropped guards on to the deck of the vessel by rope from a […]

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Significant oil discovery in the seas of the Norwegian Arctic

The Guardian reports, 6th September 2013: “Tullow Oil, one of the Britain’s most successful exploration groups, has made its first discovery in the Arctic in a move which will encourage more drilling and anger green groups campaigning against fossil fuel extraction in the region. “This is a major frontier light oil discovery for Norway, Tullow […]

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80% of waste plastic in the sea comes from land-based sources

The Guardian reports, 9th August 2013: “Green turtles are swallowing plastic at twice the rate they did 25 years ago, according to a new study. The finding is based on data collected across the globe since the late 1980s and analysed by researchers at the University of Queensland. Study leader and PhD candidate Qamar Schuyler […]

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The “most persistent polluters of England’s beaches are the water companies”, claims The Observer

The Observer reports, 4th August 2013: “The most persistent and frequent polluters of England’s rivers and beaches are the nation’s 10 biggest water companies, an Observer investigation has revealed. “The companies, which are responsible for treating waste water and delivering clean supplies, have been punished for more than 1,000 incidents in the past nine years, […]

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The best and worst of Britain’s beaches, using your photos

The Guardian reports, 27th June 2013: “It’s not been great news recently for the British beach, according the Marine Conservation Society, the number of cigarette butts littering UK beaches actually doubled last year and almost two-thirds of the litter recorded was plastic and therefore unlikely to break down. It seems that wet weather in the […]

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Insecticide Blamed for Bee Decline also Lethal to Aquatic Organisms

A new study shows neonicotinoid insecticides are lethal to freshwater invertebrates following low but constant exposure. This group of insecticides are in the headlines again following a partial EU–wide ban agreed in April 2013, as evidence of their toxicity to bees became indisputable. Thirty studies have now linked neonicotinoid insecticides to the global demise of […]

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