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New Garbage Patch Discovered in the South Pacific Gyre Last Updated on 2013-01-18 00:00:00 Plastic pollution isn’t just a North Pacific phenomenon, but rather a global problem with global implications for fisheries, tourism, marine ecosystems and human health.   Scientists from The 5 Gyres Institute have discovered the first evidence of a “garbage patch,” an accumulation zone of plastic pollution floating in the South Pacific subtropical gyre. The new study, published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin marks the first documentation of a defined oceanic garbage patch in the Southern Hemisphere, where little research on marine plastic pollution exists. In March and April 2011, a team of scientists and interested citizens lead by 5 Gyres Institute Executive Director, Dr. Marcus Eriksen, conducted the first ever sampling of the South Pacific Subtropical Gyre for marine plastic pollution. The... More »
Life in the Sea Found Its Fate in a Paroxysm of Extinction Last Updated on 2012-05-01 00:00:00 Life in the Sea Found Its Fate in a Paroxysm of Extinction   Katharina Fabricius/Australian Institute of Marine Science IN DANGER  Corals are the most vulnerable creatures in the ocean, just as they were during the Permian extinction. By ALANNA MITCHELL Published: April 30, 2012  It may never be as well known as the Cretaceous extinction, the one that killed off the dinosaurs. Yet the much earlier Permian extinction — 252 million years ago — was by far the most catastrophic of the planet’s five known paroxysms of species loss. About 95 percent of marine species quickly died off 252 million years ago.  No wonder it is called the Great Dying: Scientists calculate that about 95 percent of marine species, and an uncountable but probably comparable percentage of land species, went extinct in a geological... More »