"Using state of the art equipment the expedition is collecting physical oceanographic data, water samples and microorganisms aiming to establish a baseline data-base of current planktonic biodiversity and the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems to be able to determine the impact of climate change in future years."“Planktonic organisms are the foundation of the food chain and any possible changes at this level, caused by changes in average ocean temperature, can affect higher trophic levels all the way to fish and humans” she added.”
“There are plastic particles almost everywhere in the oceans. But, because of oceanographic currents called gyres, there are areas where debris tends to concentrate. One of these areas of high concentration is known as the ‘Great Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch’. It is not just a floating “island” of debris, but it is actually a “plastic soup” spanning across hundreds of miles where the plastic is distributed throughout the water column" said Melissa.
“Plastics in the oceans come mainly from land-based sources and have been there for decades. There is some physical degradation caused in part by UV radiation, however because many plastics have UV filters, their physical degradation is extremely slow. We are interested in the potential of bio-degradation occurring when living organisms transform the chemical bonds of the plastic. Thus far, current scientific knowledge has determined that bio-degradation plays a very limited role in the environmental fate of plastics, particularly in the oceans. We need to know more about this.”adds Melissa“
"The presence of large pieces of plastic can kill marine organisms by entrapment, suffocation and drowning. Even smaller pieces, if ingested, can cause choking or intestinal blockage. Some pieces may remains in the animal, blocking the intestinal tract, causing death. When the animal dies, the plastic is either released to be eaten again, or it is swallowed by a predator eating the plastic-ridden prey.” Melissa told me.
The oceans are the greatest of all the world's "forests"(Le Journal N°7 Tara Oceans Expedition).
Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/304440#ixzz1GFtRe8UD