This summer, researchers from the Institute of Marine Research and the University of Tromsø (UIT) found plastic rubbish at a depth of several thousand meters in the Molloy Deep in Framstredet.
The Molloy Deep is located between Svalbard and Greenland. The research group originally set out to find marine material that could turn into valuable medicines but also found several large pieces of plastic at the depth between 3,500 and 5,600 meters, the Institute of Marine Research wrote in a press release.
Chief engineer Robert André Johansen, who was on deck of the research ship Kronprins Haakon during the discovery, is no longer surprised and says that on previous deep-sea voyages they have also found small pieces of plastic and remnants of nylon rope.
The plastic follows the ocean currents, but it is often impossible to know whether it comes from the immediate area or if it has traveled over greater distances.
The plastic can remain in the deep for a long time as the environment is stable with little light, movement, and temperature change.
Eventually, the plastic is broken down into microplastic, and it enters the food chain.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today