Ecosystem overviews

Oceanic Northeast Atlantic Ecosystem Overview

Pressure: Marine litter

​​Shipping used to be a significant source of litter, but since the introduction of IMO regulations on waste management the amount per vessel may have reduced while overall traffic has increased. Lost fishing gear is likely to be a localized source of marine litter. Ship and submarine wrecks occur across the area. The military is a source of litter, e.g. sonar buoys and spent munitions.

​Plastic litter is ubiquitous in the oceans, and there is evidence from the Northwest Atlantic that microplastics enter the food chain and are present in the guts of mesopelagic fish species. Although studies have yet to be done, it is reasonable to assume this will also be the case in the Northeast Atlantic.​​

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Oceanic Northeast Atlantic Ecosystem Overview

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