Please select your home edition
Edition
Insun - AC Program

No escaping ocean plastic - 37M bits of litter on remotest islands

by University of Tasmania - IMAS on 17 May
East Beach, Henderson Island. Jennifer Lavers
The beaches of one of the world’s most remote islands have been found to be polluted with the highest density of plastic debris reported anywhere on the planet, in a study published in the prestigious US scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Despite being uninhabited and located more than 5000 kilometres from the nearest major population centre, Henderson Island is littered with an estimated 37.7 million pieces of plastic. Part of the UK’s Pitcairn Islands territory, the island is so remote that it’s only visited every five to ten years for research purposes, but its location near the centre of the South Pacific Gyre ocean current makes it a focal point for debris carried from South America or deposited by fishing boats.



During the most recent scientific expedition to the island led by the British nature conservation charity RSPB, the study’s lead author, IMAS researcher Dr Jennifer Lavers, found the beaches littered by up to 671 items per square metre, the highest density ever recorded.

“What’s happened on Henderson Island shows there’s no escaping plastic pollution even in the most distant parts of our oceans,” Dr Lavers said. 'Far from being the pristine ‘deserted island’ that people might imagine of such a remote place, Henderson Island is a shocking but typical example of how plastic debris is affecting the environment on a global scale.'



“Based on our sampling at five sites we estimated that more than 17 tonnes of plastic debris has been deposited on the island, with more than 3570 new pieces of litter washing up each day on one beach alone. It’s likely that our data actually underestimates the true amount of debris on Henderson Island as we were only able to sample pieces bigger than two millimeters down to a depth of 10 centimeters, and we were unable to sample along cliffs and rocky coastline.”



Dr Lavers said most of the more than 300 million tonnes of plastic produced worldwide each year is not recycled, and as it’s buoyant and durable it has a long-term impact on the ocean. “Plastic debris is an entanglement and ingestion hazard for many species, creates a physical barrier on beaches to animals such as sea turtles, and lowers the diversity of shoreline invertebrates. Research has shown that more than 200 species are known to be at risk from eating plastic, and 55 per cent of the world’s seabirds, including two species found on Henderson Island, are at risk from marine debris,” Dr Lavers said.

PredictWind.comProtector - 660 x 82Barz Optics - Kids range

Related Articles

B&G® launches NAIS 500 Class-B AIS
B&G® is pleased to announce, a fully integrated, Class-B Automatic Identification System transponder – the B&G NAIS 500. B&G®, the world’s leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, is pleased to announce today, a fully integrated, Class-B Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponder – the B&G NAIS 500. Essential for navigating busy shipping lanes and congested ports, the NAIS 500 — which includes a dedicated GPS-500 receiver - is compact in size, lightweight and fully waterproof.
Posted on 18 May
The Ocean Cleanup announces Pacific cleanup to start in 2018
The Ocean Cleanup today announced it will start extracting plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within 12 months The Ocean Cleanup, the Dutch foundation developing advanced technologies to rid the oceans of plastic, today announced it will start extracting plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within the next 12 months.
Posted on 12 May
X-Yachts advisory board announces ambitious strategy plan
X-Yachts now has three unique and different ranges. All three lines will be further developed and refined. Catering for a complete cross section of sailors prioritising Superb Sailing Pleasure, X-Yachts now has three unique and different ranges. All three lines will be further developed and refined.
Posted on 24 Mar
Marine Resources expands Boatbuilding Team with two key appointments
Marine Resources have recently expanded their in-house boatbuilding team, with the addition of two new key members. Leading leisure marine industry and luxury yacht recruitment specialists Marine Resources have recently expanded their in-house boatbuilding team, with the addition of two new key members.
Posted on 16 Mar
A rare opportunity to sail in Canada!
Sail the fabulous Vancouver Island, Georgia Straights and The Desolation Sound. Sail the fabulous Vancouver Island, Georgia Straights and The Desolation Sound. This area regarded as the greatest wilderness and picturesque area in the world is open to a 16 day cruise with Sailing Adventures.
Posted on 27 Feb
B&G adds enhanced Navionic functionality to Zeus and Vulcan range
B&G® announces the latest updates will bring PredictWind weather services direct to Zeus and Vulcan chartplotter range. B&G®, the world’s leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, is pleased to announce the latest in its software updates will bring PredictWind weather services direct to its Zeus and Vulcan chartplotter range.
Posted on 16 Feb
New Xperformance - Optimising the cruiser/racer range from X-Yachts
X-Yachts have built a wide range of 'Cruiser/Racers' as well as dedicated racing yachts which have won many Intl titles Since the company was founded back in 1979, X-Yachts have built a wide range of 'Cruiser/Racers' as well as dedicated racing yachts which have won many famous International titles, and of course One Design Class yachts such as X-79 and X-99
Posted on 14 Feb
Zhik Xeflex® is your shield against exposure from the cold
Zhik’s Xeflex radiant barrier mid-layer is no ordinary mid-layer. It takes light weight warmth and insulation to new lev Zhik’sXeflex® radiant barrier mid-layer is no ordinary mid-layer. It takes light weight warmth and insulation to new levels for sailors - well in fact you could scale Everest in it.
Posted on 13 Feb
Long-term impacts of deep-sea mineral mining
A new international study has demonstrated that deep-sea nodule mining will cause long-lasting damage to deep-sea life. A new international study has demonstrated that deep-sea nodule mining will cause long-lasting damage to deep-sea life. This study, led by scientists at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), was the first to review all the available information on the impacts of small-scale sea-floor disturbances simulating mining activity.
Posted on 11 Feb
Decoding ocean signals
Geographer Tim DeVries and colleagues determine why the ocean has absorbed more carbon over the past decade. Geographer Tim DeVries and colleagues determine why the ocean has absorbed more carbon over the past decade. With the ocean absorbing more carbon dioxide (CO2) over the past decade, less of the greenhouse gas is reaching the Earth’s atmosphere. That’s decidedly good news, but it comes with a catch: Rising levels of CO2 in the ocean promote acidification, which breaks down calcium carbonate shells
Posted on 9 Feb