One of the largest seafloor surveys ever conducted has found that Europe’s waters are filled with litter, even at some of their deepest depths.
One of the largest seafloor surveys ever conducted has found that Europe’s waters are filled with litter, even at some of their deepest locations.
The team collected data from 588 video and fishing trawl surveys of 32 sites.
Bodies of water targeted in the study were the Mediterranean Sea and parts of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans and each was examined at depths from just over 100 feet to almost 3 miles.
According to the report recently published in Plos One, trash was found at every site surveyed, including the Mediterranean Sea, the Arctic Ocean and in an area of the Atlantic stretching from the continental shelf to the mid-Atlantic ridge.
Most of it was plastic, followed by materials and equipment used for fishing.
Glass, metal, paper, and other materials were found in varying amounts. Clothing and pottery also turned up in the search.
Underwater canyons were the most detritus-ridden places. Sea shelves and ocean ridges accumulated the least trash.
Said one of the researchers, “Most of the deep sea remains unexplored by humans and these are our first visits to many of these sites, but we were shocked to find that our rubbish has got there before us."