Plastic pollution found in island's waters 'comparable' to North Sea

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A SHIP gathering data on plastic pollution in Channel Island waters found results 'comparable' to other areas it has visited in the North Sea.

The Dutch ship, Fantastiko, which is operated by the foundation By The Ocean We Unite and crewed by researchers and volunteers whose work is to sample the rate of non-degradable plastic matter gathered in waters, came to St Peter Port Harbour last week before setting off towards Sark.

The Channel Islands' expedition was the third that the team has undertaken, in which it collected its 40th sample from North Sea waters.

On-board researcher Nanne van Hoytema said the sorts of pollution most commonly found were single-use plastics such as plastic bags.

There is also a prevalence of small weather-worn plastic items that have become unrecognisable over time known as micro plastics.

Both are said to be dangerous to marine life, as they tend to gather in accumulation zones among seaweed-heavy areas that attract other sea life.

During their study the ship noted an average of 500 to 1,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometre, similar to the levels found in Scotland and Norway.

The aim was for the ship to go on to gather data from one accumulation zone in between Guernsey and Jersey waters, but they did not find the time.

The dense collection of plastic is reportedly visible to passing passengers on the ferries.

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