Research shows that there averages around 200kg (441 lbs) of plastic and other garbage per square km (0.6 miles) along the Norwegian coast. The situation is worst of all west of Ålesund.
In coastal areas off the west coast village, garbage levels remain close to ten tons per square km, wrote the Institute of Marine Research (Havforskningsinstituttet – IMR).
In the ‘Mareano Project’, run by the IMR in collaboration with several other organisations and individuals, amongst other things, garbage on the seabed is recorded.
‘With some rough assumptions, these observations indicate an average amount of garbage to be around 200 kg per square km for the entire survey area. Locally, the amounts may reach almost 10 tons per square km near the coast’, said researcher, Bjørn Einar Grøsvik.
Every year, many birds, marine mammals and sea turtles die because they get trapped in the garbage, or confuse it for food. This week, a Cuvier’s Beaked Whale that had to be euthanised in Sotra gained international attention after researchers found 30 plastic bags packed tight inside the whale’s belly.
On a global basis, plastic accounts for about 80% of the pollution in the oceans. It is estimated that between five and thirteen tons of plastic are harboured in the world’s oceans every year.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today