The MBA is delighted to have supplied an ‘ocean indicator’ for SkyOceanRescue and National Geographic to sample microplastics in the Pacific.
Sky Ocean Rescue Scholar Imogen Napper will deploy the instrument when she sails as part of a SkyOceanRescue and National Geographic team to sample microplastic during a trip around the Pacific Garbage Patch (from Hawaii to Vancouver). Their trip will be filmed to raise awareness of the problem of plastic pollution.
The ocean indicator has been developed by the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey. It is a smaller version of the Continuous Plankton Recorder (an instrument designed to capture plankton samples over huge areas of ocean, the CPR is usually towed from the stern of volunteer merchant ships) the ‘ocean indicator’ is easy to transport, can be used in coastal waters, at lower speed and can be set to tow at different depths.
MBA Director, Professor Willie Wilson, said: “8 million tonnes of plastics end up in our oceans each year – we have to know more about the effects this is having on marine ecosystems. It’s great our indicator can be used to assist with ocean monitoring.”
The photo shows the handover of the ocean indicator in the CPR Survey workshop at the MBA's Citadel Hill laboratory in Plymouth (left to right: Lance Gregory, Imogen Napper, Dr Clare Ostle).