Ocean researchers are continuing their expeditions to the North Pacific Ocean Subtropical Gyre (aka Pacific Garbage Patch) to study and quantify the trash, which is accumulating in larger quantities.
A category of trash that is of particular interest to researchers is our ubiquitous plastic products, which breakdown into progressively finer particles that are perpetually polluting our oceans. These particles, regardless of sizes, are nearly indestructible so researchers want to understand their impacts on ocean ecosystem cycles.
The harmful macroscopic effects are more obvious when a sea creature gets tangled in plastic netting or ingests plastic bottles and bags—not as obvious are the potentially harmful microscopic interactions, impacts and implications for ocean ecosystem cycles.
Of course we need not await our researchers before we stop polluting our oceans with harmful categories of waste.
UPDATED 02/11/2018 A Plastic Ocean - Taking Action
UPDATED 10/10/2016 SR, The effect of particle properties on the depth profile of buoyant plastics in the ocean
Some Related Agreements:
UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites)
Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundry Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Convention on Biological Diversity
Kyoto Protocol, Bonn and Follow-on Framework on Climate Change
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
UPDATED 02/11/2018 A Plastic Ocean Trailer
UPDATED 09/16/2016 WH, President Obama Delivers Remarks at the 2016 Our Ocean Conference
The Oceans is Our Home—We Just Inhabit the Land.
UPDATED 08/01/2012 TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch - List 46 Tedx Videos
UPDATED 02/11/2018 Telegraph, The Queen Declares War on Plastic After David Attenborough Documentary
UPDATED 10/01/2016 Nature, Plastic microfibre ingestion by deep-sea organisms
UPDATED 06/21/2016 Nature, Man-made pollutants found in Earth's deepest ocean trenches
UPDATED 03/11/2016 PBS, These plastic-munching bacteria could degrade soda bottles in weeks and ChemEngNews, Bacteria feast on plastic and Wikipedia, Polyethylene terephthalate The newly named Ideonella sakaiensis bacterial enzyme petase catalyzes reactions at 30oC.
BBC, Big rise in North Pacific plastic waste and ScienceDaily, Plastic Trash Altering Ocean Habitats