DATA recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that the threat of plastic pollution to seabirds is global, pervasive, and increasing.
Forecasts by computer modelling indicate that by 2050, 99 per cent of seabirds will have ingested plastic of one form or another. “For the first time, we have a global prediction of how wide-reaching plastic impacts may be on marine species and the results are striking,” said Chris Wilcox, senior research scientist at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The problem of plastic in the oceans calls for more control on littering and illegal dumping in developed countries and an improvement in waste management infrastructure in the developing world, says Wilcox. The highest area of expected impact occurs at the Southern Ocean boundary in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand.