New Deep Sea Animal With Plastic in Digestive System Named Eurythenes Plasticus
Highlighting the need to contain the piling up of plastic even
under the seas, a new deep sea animal discovered by scientists has been named
Eurythenes Plasticus. The new species of amphipods found the deep sea had the
presence of polyethylene terephthalate in its digestive system. The discovery
was made by scientists in Marine Ecology Department in Newcastle University.
They said the presence of plastic inside the body of a deep sea animal shows
the extent of plastic pollution on earth. The amphipod - known in informal
speech as a “hopper” - was discovered by researchers from Newcastle University
in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench between Japan and the Philippines.
“We decided on the name Eurythenes plasticus as we wanted to highlight the fact that we need to take immediate action to stop the deluge of plastic waste into our oceans," Dr Alan Jamieson, Senior Lecturer in Marine Ecology at Newcastle University said.
The researchers officially named the species Eurythenes plasticus in reference to the plastic it has ingested. In its body was polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a substance found in a variety of commonly used household items such as water bottles and workout clothes. The research was supported by WWF and published in the renowned scientific journal Zootaxa today (5 March).
Lauren Spurrier, Vice President, Ocean Conservation at World
Wildlife Fund said: “The decision to call this newly discovered species, from
one of the deepest and most remote places on the planet, Eurythenes plasticus
is a bold and necessary move. There can be no disputing the ubiquitous presence
of plastics in our environment and its impact on nature.
“We now are seeing even more devastating impacts of plastic pollution, in that it is infecting species science is only just now discovering. While the official existence of plastics in the taxonomic record is a stark concept, this discovery should mobilize us all to take immediate strong action against this global pollutant.”