The 5th International Marine Debris Conference has been ongoing this week in Honolulu, Hawaii. The above video from NOAA gives some insight as to what is meant by ‘marine debris’ and why it’s an issue. While the video focuses on the larger pieces of debris, it’s important to remember that microplastic pollution, especially as they accumulate in oceanic gyres over time, is an another issue of enormous consequence to ocean creatures great and small.
You can follow the conference on the Twitter machine here and by keeping up with the hashtag #5imdc for the extra Twitter literate. For more information, check out the Seaplex Science blog (more about the Seaplex expedition here) which debunks some misleading headlines about the North Pacific garbage patch. Miriam Goldstein, a PhD student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, studies the impacts of plastics on marine invertebrates and frequently talks plastic over at Deep-Sea News, along with various sea shanties of course.
Find out about NOAA’s Marine Debris Program here.