» Pollution


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Plastic from tyres is a “major source” of ocean pollution, says IUCN

BBC News reports, 22nd February 2017: Particles of debris from car tyres are ending up in the ocean as “plastic soup”, conservationists warn. Micro-plastics from tyres and textiles are a bigger source of marine pollution than the breakdown of larger plastic waste in some areas, says the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Up to […]

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Extraordinary levels of pollution 10km deep in the Mariana trench, say scientists

The Guardian reports, 13th February 2017: Scientists have discovered “extraordinary” levels of toxic pollution in the most remote and inaccessible place on the planet — the 10km deep Mariana trench in the Pacific Ocean. Small crustaceans that live in the pitch-black waters of the trench, captured by a robotic submarine, were contaminated with 50 times […]

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A Proposal for Sustainable Salmon Farming, replacing present practices

James Merryweather, scottishsalmonthinktank.net, has published an analysis of present salmon fish farming practices along with reform proposals to place salmon fish farming on a sustainable basis. We provide here material from his website.   FISH FARMS (a review of net-cage salmon farming in Scotland) When I first started to investigate salmon farming in Scotland (and Canada, […]

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Tanker to tanker oil transfers proposals in Cromarty Firth spark controversy

The Herald (Scotland) reports, 23rd January 2017: Controversial plans to transfer up to nine million tonnes of crude oil between tankers at the mouth of the Cromarty Firth have been scrapped after the firm behind the scheme was ordered to withdraw its application. The Cromarty Firth Port Authority (CFPA) will have to prepare a new […]

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World’s largest colony of Humboldt penguins threatened

Oceana reports, 12th January 2017: Six hundred kilometres (360 miles) north of Santiago, Chile, the National Humboldt Penguin Reserve reverberates with the braying of 26,000 Humboldt penguins — around 80 percent of the species’ entire population. Sea otters and migrating blue whales glide through the waves close to colonies of nesting seabirds. This global biodiversityBiological […]

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Southern Water fined £2m for gross sewage pollution of Kent beaches

The Guardian reports, 19th December 2016: Southern Water has been fined a record £2m for flooding beaches in Kent with raw sewage, leaving them closed to the public for nine days. The Environment Agency called the event “catastrophic”, while the judge at Maidstone crown court said that Southern Water’s repeat offending was “wholly unacceptable”. The […]

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Seabirds eat plastic because it smells like food, say scientists

The Guardian reports, 9th November 2016: Algae on drifting plastic waste gives off a sulphur compound which smells similar to the krill many marine birds feed on, researchers have discovered. The findings could explain why certain birds — including albatrosses and shearwaters — which rely on their sense of smell for hunting, are particularly vulnerable […]

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Shipping industry to cap sulphur in its fuel by 2020

The Guardian reports, 28th October 2016: The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) agreed on Thursday to set a cap on the sulphur content of marine fuels, in a move that campaigners predict will save millions of lives in the coming decades. At a meeting of the IMO’s environment protection committee shipping officials agreed to cap the […]

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Convention on Ballast Water Management secures legal force

The UK Wildlife and Countryside Link reports, October 2016: This month Finland ratified the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Ballast Water Management Convention. Being the 52nd contracting party, Finland tipped the target of 35% world shipping tonnage and triggered entry into force by September 2017. We’ve been waiting a long time for this, as the convention […]

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Astonishing facts revealed about pollution from cargo shipping

The Guardian reports, 7th October 2016: A push by the shipping and oil industries for a five-year delay to curbs on toxic sulphur emissions would cause an extra 200,000 premature deaths from lung cancer and heart disease, according to an unpublished International Maritime Organisation (IMO) study. Fatalities from illnesses such as asthma were not covered […]

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Shell and BP remain committed to deep-sea wells

We provide extracts from two news reports which show that the two largest British oil and gas companies, Shell and British Petroleum, remain committed to a future which involves extraction of oil and gas from deep-sea wells. The Guardian reports, 11th September 2016: Royal Dutch Shell has started production at the world’s deepest underwater oil […]

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UK Government to ban microbeads in cosmetic products and to consult on wider action

edie.net (part of the Guardian Environment Network) reports, 3rd September 2016:  Tiny pieces of plastic in personal beauty products, that end up in the oceans and are swallowed by marine life, will be banned from sale in the UK by the end of 2017, the Government announced. The move comes just days after MPs called […]

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Microbead plastics should be banned, say MPs

The Guardian reports, 24th August 2016: Cosmetics companies must be banned from using plastic microbeads in scrubs, toothpaste and beauty products because of the marine pollution they are causing, say a group of MPs. Members of the Environmental Audit Committee have called for a ban within 18 months after hearing that trillions of tiny pieces […]

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Microplastics may be harming reproduction in fish, says study

Sciencedaily.com reports, 2nd June 2016: In a new study, published in Science, researchers from Uppsala University found that larval fish exposed to microplastic particles during development displayed changed behaviours and stunted growth which lead to greatly increased mortality rates. The researchers discovered that larval perch that had access to microplastic particles only ate plastic and […]

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Cruise liners challenging air pollution limits in UK’s cities and ports

The Guardian reports, 31st March 2016: Toxic fumes from large cruise liners powered by giant diesel engines will worsen London’s air pollution and could prevent the city from meeting its EU legal limits on deadly nitrogen oxide emissions, says resident groups opposing a new terminal. Plans for a wharf in the Thames that would be […]

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How Ocean Pollution Affects Humans

With the oceans covering over 72% of the world’s surface and providing 70% of the oxygen we breathe and 97% of our water supply, without the oceans mankind would not exist today. The ocean is the most beautiful, diverse and mysterious environment on the planet however; everyday our oceans are under attack from pollution caused […]

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Oyster reproduction affected adversely by micro-plastics

Sciencemag.org reports, 1st February 2016: Increasingly, these molluscs are exposed to tiny pieces of plastic the same size as oysters’ preferred planktonPlankton is a generic term for a wide variety of the smallest yet most important organisms form that drift in our oceans. They can exist in larger forms of more than 20cm as the […]

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Seagrass meadows around the British Isles are in “perilous state”

BBC News, 13th January 2016, reports: Most seagrass meadows around the coast of the British Isles are in a “perilous state”, say scientists. Plants are being damaged by pollution and human disturbances such as mooring boats, according to researchers. Surveys of 11 sites in England, Wales and Ireland found high nitrogen levels in water were […]

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OSPAR organises conference to tackle microplastics in the seas

The Oslo Paris Commission (OSPARConvention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic made up of representatives of the Governments of the 15 signatory nations. ) reports, 9th December 2015: Small fragments of plastic (microplastics) are so prevalent in the North East Atlantic that it is now critical that sectors come together […]

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Deep Sea Mining : the nature of the resource, and the threat to ocean integrity

Prof. Richard Steiner writes in The Huffington Post, 20th October 2015: Adding to concerns about the disastrous decline in ocean ecosystems, now there is another emerging threat — deep sea mining. While shallow water mining for sand, gold, tin, and diamonds has been conducted for decades, commercial deep sea mining has yet to occur anywhere. […]

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