The Courier-Mail

Marine hazard

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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.

 ??  ?? Albatross killed by excessive plastic ingestion in Midway Islands (North Pacific) Source: “Overdevelo­pment, Overpopula­tion, Overshoot” by Tom
Butler. Photo: Chris Jordan.
Albatross killed by excessive plastic ingestion in Midway Islands (North Pacific) Source: “Overdevelo­pment, Overpopula­tion, Overshoot” by Tom Butler. Photo: Chris Jordan.

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