The waters surrounding the eight canary islands house a extraordinary biodiversity and they are a priority habitat for a large number of species, many of them threatened or endangered. A great danger, however, looms over marine ecosystems, which are being invaded by wastes of anthropogenic origin, mostly plastics.
The famous actor Leonardo Dicaprio The situation of the Islands has been echoed by publishing a video of a turtle entangled in plastics.
"A young sea turtle drags a tangle of fishing nets and other debris through the open ocean off the coast of the Canary Islands. This is just one example of the danger posed by plastic waste for the health of marine life. Seabirds and whales are dead with their bellies full of plastic. Coastal communities around the world are suffocated by plastic waste that comes from distant coasts. And in the United States, the plastics industry intends to expand production by at least 35% by 2025, without a plan to prevent more plastic pollution from entering our ocean, or protect frontline communities from pollutants. toxic"warns the interpreter known for his environmental awareness.
The microplastics they are plastic particles smaller than five millimeters in size, which come mainly from photodegradation and fragmentation processes of larger plastics, but they can also be microspheres used in cosmetic products, synthetic fibers from clothing, or resin pellets, also known as 'mermaid tears', which are used as raw material for the manufacture of plastic products.
The Gulf Stream and its downward branch, the Canary Current, they bring waste from different areas of the planet to the coasts that accumulate in the areas exposed to prevailing winds and currents, turning them into points of special interest to study the phenomenon of marine pollution, especially in specific places on the northern slope of the islands.
The studies about the effects of this pollution on marine biota have already discovered some very worrying data, which show that the warning that the researcher Edward Carpenter launched in 1970, about the possible effects of plastic pollution, is today a reality and a problem of great magnitude for the Canary Islands and for the entire planet.
The waste that reaches the coast can take years at sea and make thousands of kilometers before being stranded on our beaches. "Our islands constitute a natural barrier against these currents and act as collectors of marine litter found in the North Atlantic", explains the BIOMAR project coordinator, May Gómez, who points out that it is a priority to study the effect that these pollutants may be having on marine life in this area.
Especially, in areas located on the northern slope of the islands, such as Famara in Lanzarote, The pits in Gran Canaria, Benijo in Tenerife or La Fajana in The Palm, which are becoming dumps when they are affected by the arrival of all those plastics.