Ocean Pollution Discovered at 10 000 Meters Depth

22.06.2016

A group of scientists using an unmanned lander have explored the crustaceans that live in the Mariana Trench and in the Kermadec Trench (New Zealand). It turned out that the body of these creatures contains organic hazardous pollutants, which are produced by human activity.

Crustaceans-amphipods were caught at a depth of over 10,000 meters. Their tissues contained toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that were once used in transformers. The analysis also showed the presence of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) used in the manufacture of plastics.

Ocean Pollution Discovered at 10 000 Meters Depth

It is noteworthy that the amount of PCBs in the body of amphipods from the Mariana Trench is 15 times larger than in the dirtiest rivers of China – the Pearl and Liaohe. Biologists believe that the chemicals got into the Mariana Trench from plastic producing factories nearby, or from the US military base located on the island of Guam. Contamination likely got to the Kermadec Trench by the North Pacific flow from the surface of the ocean.