Ocean Community News

New Book Covers Five Decades of Marine Litter Research

Marine Litter Cover

According to Captain James Moore of Algalita, a marine research and education organization, “Synthetic polymers, commonly known as plastics, have made themselves a permanent part of the marine environment for the first time in the long history of planetary seas. Only a broad combination of traditional fields of scientific inquiry is adequate to uncover the effects of this new pollutant . . .”

He wrote this in the foreword of a new book that gives an overview of the current state of research and of research gaps concerning litter in our oceans. “Marine Anthropogenic Litter” was released by Springer-Verlag as an Open Access publication in June 2015.

This book describes how man-made litter, primarily plastic, has spread into the remotest parts of the oceans and covers all aspects of this pollution problem from the impacts on wildlife and human health to socio-economic and political issues. Marine litter is a prime threat to marine wildlife, habitats and food webs worldwide.

The book illustrates how advanced technologies from deep-sea research, microbiology and mathematic modeling as well as classic beach litter counts by volunteers contributed to the broad awareness of marine litter as a problem of global significance. The authors summarize more than five decades of marine litter research, which receives growing attention after the recent discovery of great oceanic garbage patches and the ubiquity of microscopic plastic particles in marine organisms and habitats.

The editors, Melanie Bergmann and Lars Gutow from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and Michael Klages from the University of Gothenburg’s Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences, brought together experts from around the globe to contribute to the book.

To download the free e-book, or order a hardcover, click here.

ECO Magazine is a marine science publication committed to bringing scientists and professionals the latest ground-breaking research, industry news, and job opportunities from around the world.

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