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October 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 32, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Charting Marine Litter Levels

from the October, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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It's upsetting to witness a marine animal tangled in plastic or even attempting to eat it, but it's becoming more common. However, reporting marine debris just got easier. A new smartphone app is enabling scuba divers across the world to easily record information regarding any marine litter they might come across.

The data will help Project AWARE (a non-profit organization working with volunteer divers, with offices in the U.S., the UK and Australia) to build a database to share with science and conservation bodies to provide evidence to drive long-term change in waste management. Governments can introduce laws such as one in Kenya where the trading in, supply of and even possession of plastic bags can render the miscreant liable to a massive fine and even time in jail. That's good news for turtles, which have been filmed devouring plastic bags, most likely because they have mistaken them for jellyfish, a dietary staple....

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