Ocean health

One of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s long-term goals is to restore the health and productivity of the world ocean, on which all life depends. MBARI research results have contributed to raising public awareness about the health and future of the ocean.

New study finds microplastic throughout Monterey Bay

Researchers discovered microplastic particles inside deep-sea larvaceans (left) and pelagic red crabs (right). Left image © MBARI; Right image © Monterey Bay Aquarium

A newly published study in Scientific Reports shows that plastic debris less than five millimeters across, known as microplastic, is common from the surface to the seafloor. It may also be entering marine food webs, both at the surface and in the deep. Finally, the study suggests that most of this microplastic is coming from consumer products.

This is the first study to look systematically at microplastic, with repeated sampling at the same locations and a range of depths, from just beneath the ocean surface to depths of 1,000 meters.

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