Microplastics (plastic smaller than 5 millimeters) is an emerging pollutant threatening species at the base of our food chain, from zooplankton up to fish and marine mammals. It affects their feeding behavior and moves from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. Its presence has been reported as far as the Arctic Ocean. In spite of this threat, there are no regulations on microplastics, an urgent need to assess its pollution and lack of awareness worldwide of the gravity of the threat.
In summer 2018Polarquest explorers and researchers sailed to the Svalbard archipelago on Nanuq, a 60-foot sailboat designed to sail in polar regions, and were the first to sample microplastic at the edge of the iceshelf, at the record latitude of 8207' North, using a Mantanet. We are now sharing their polar expedition with the public through educational and scientific conferences, media events, a photo exhibition and a TV documentary (in preparation) while scientists are analysing samples.
Our findings will contribute to assess the risk of the impact of miroplastic on the environment, the marine foodchain and life on the planet. Creating awareness among citizens of the threat of microplastic in the oceans, through our communication and educational products featuring the unique expedition and disseminating the new results from scientific sampling in the High Arcic at record latitudes is a powerful way for making make the Global Goals for sustainable development a reality.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).