Not much time today so just a quick whizz down to Charlestown beaches and a look over the seaweed. I found the usual small pieces of plastic and net together with polystyrene pieces. There’s been quite a lot of chunks of builders Filler foam washing in lately, goodness knows where from but I am sure it will be releasing nasty chemicals into the water as it breaks down.
I read an interesting article today saying that when foraging many marine animals, including albatrosses, rely primarily on their sense of smell. Some species of seabirds and fish are attracted to plastic by its odour. Specifically, they implicated dimethyl sulfide (DMS), a compound known to attract foraging birds, as the chemical cue emanating from plastic. Essentially, algae grows on floating plastic, and when that algae is eaten by krill – a major marine food source – it releases DMS, attracting birds and fish that then munch on the plastic instead of the krill they came for.
That would explain why large quantities of plastic have been found in seabirds’ and whales’ stomachs and why it is vital to stop plastic being dumped in the sea. Please help by not littering and picking up plastic wherever you see it