Ocean plastic could treble in decade

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The amount of plastic-type material in the ocean is set to treble in a decade unless litter is usually curbed, a major report has cautioned.

Plastics is just a single issue facing the world’s oceans, along with rising sea levels, heating oceans, and pollution, it states.

But the Foresight Long term of the Sea Report for the UNITED KINGDOM government said there are also opportunities to profit from the “ocean economy”.

They say this is predicted to dual to $3 trillion (£ two trillion) by 2030.

The report says much more information is needed about the ocean. The writers say the world needs a Mission in order to “Planet Ocean” to mirror the particular excitement of voyaging to the celestial satellite and Mars.

The particular Foresight reports are written by professionals to brief ministers on moderate and long-term issues of importance. This one has been signed off simply by ministers from four different sections as the authors emphasise the need for the joined-up oceans policy.

One of the authors, Prof Edward Slope from the UK National Oceanography Center told BBC News: “The sea is critical to our economic future. 9 billion people will be looking to the particular ocean for more food. Yet we all know so little of what’s down there.

“We invest a lot of money plus enthusiasm for missions to area – but there’s nothing living available. The sea bed is teeming along with life. We really need a mission in order to planet ocean – it’s the final frontier. ”

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Image caption The record projects an increase in the industrial catch of fish

Another of the authors, the main scientist for the UK government’s atmosphere department Ian Boyd, agreed: “The ocean is out of sight, out of thoughts, ” he said.

He told BBC Information: “There’s a continuous process of exploring for brand spanking new things to exploit in the oceans, which is happening faster than we researchers can keep up with. My suspicion is certainly legislation is also struggling to keep up : and obviously there are risks in this. ”

This individual said offshore wind farms, essential oil industries and mining firms had been spreading into unexplored areas. “Scientists need to get in there faster than the industrial people or at least at the same time – to place proper regulation in place to control those industries. ”

The report highlights many problems, including the current worry about ocean plastic material litter, which it forecasts will certainly treble between 2015 and 2025.

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Media caption A giant build-up of plastic material was captured by underwater professional photographer Caroline Power

But it stresses the ocean is being assailed from many types of pollution – including run-off pesticides and fertilisers from facilities, industrial toxins like PCBs, plus pharmaceuticals.

The writers say if governments can recognize ways of protecting biodiversity in the oceans, there are riches to be harvested — including nodules of metals and perhaps even cures for cancer.

They predict that the greatest industrial growth in the seas can come from offshore wind, followed by ocean aquaculture and fish processing. The particular report also projects an increase within industrial capture of wild seafood.

This latter recommendation alarmed Rachel Jones, a ocean expert from London Zoo, ZSL. She told BBC News: “Given that 90% of global fisheries are either at or more than sustainable catch levels, I can’t actually see how they are going to expand capture fisheries. ”

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