Scientists, during the analysis of human waste, found that Siberian rivers have become the main carriers of plastic waste to the Arctic.
A group of scientists from Russian universities and research institutes conducted the first analysis of what wastes are most often found in the water area of the four seas of the Russian Arctic shelf.
The authors conducted trawl studies of human influence on sea pollution: most often, the authors met massive plastic garbage. The researchers concluded that the main sources of plastic were household waste transported by the Ob and Yenisei rivers. Waste from marine activities such as fishing, offshore exploration, oil and gas production, as well as shipping and coastal tourism have also been found in the rivers.
The researchers collected 174 water samples during their work. It turned out that most of the solid waste was in the southwestern part of the Kara Sea, where waste was recorded in 36% of cases. For comparison, in the Chukchi Sea the indicator is less than 4%.
Among the household waste, there are mainly plastic films and bags, as well as wood residues.
Until recently, the main water area of the Arctic Basin (Arctic Ocean) has not been studied for the presence of marine debris. In the Soviet period, there were single expeditions throughout our Arctic, but at that time there was no problem of littering of water areas, so the emphasis was on other aspects. In fact, our transarctic expedition is the first in which an attempt was made to estimate the amount of garbage on the bottom of the four seas of the Arctic Ocean – the Chukchi, East Siberian, Kara and Laptev seas.
Alexey Orlov, employee of the Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, VNIRO and the Biological Institute of TSU
The authors note that in this way, household waste most often ends up in the world’s oceans – this has become the main threat to marine biodiversity.
In addition, in one of the rivers carrying plastic waste, the Yenisei, on September 10, they found an oil slick with an area of 25 square meters. m. The source of pollution at the time of publication of the news is not established.