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Plastic Pollution in a Submarine Canyon

21 Jan 2022

Recent thoughts from PhD researcher John Appah

We are such a tiny spec assigned as guardians of the vast expanse of the ocean. No matter how daunting and intimidating our task of protecting the ocean from rubbish/litter entry may seem, we must brave the boisterous waves, monstrous bedded hard rocks and the beautifully isolated life in the darkness of the deep ocean through knowledge, science and technology. Here, at UCC MGRG, we seek to achieve this enormous task by conducting regular monitoring surveys with underwater vehicles (Holland 1 ROV) serving as our eyes and arms, while on board the RV Celtic Explorer, with the data acquired directly feeding into my research on the Irish continental margin, NE Atlantic. At over 100 km far out at sea and at depths greater than 500 m we commonly observe fishing nets and plastics and has been a focus within John Appah's PhD project.


Plastics identified from the Porcupine Bank Canyon.

Do you agree if we say that we are living in the plastic age? Plastics have invaded our lives and woven into every fabric of society, including protected areas at sea. And although plastics have their own gains, the societal cost and environmental/ecological impacts associated with plastic pollution appear to outweigh their benefits and this is a source of worry to scientists and society at large. We have one earth and one support system, and we at UCC MGRG crave your indulgence in the fight against plastic pollution. Together with you, we can stop plastic pollution and salvage the earth from imminent destruction by plastics.

Marine Geosciences Research Group

University College Cork

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, North Mall Campus, University College Cork, North Mall, Cork City, T23 TK30