August update: Clean Sailors researching microplastics in Azores

Clean Sailors microplastics research with Sail and Explore Association

 

Through August 2021, Clean Sailors lead, Holly Manvell, has been sailing the Azores with Dr. Roman Lehner and our partner, Sail & Explore Association

As mid-Atlantic volcanic islands, the Azores are incredibly important for marine life, particularly deep-sea life; from whales and dolphins to turtles, coral and a variety of seabirds.

 

Clean Sailors microplastics research

They are beautiful. But the waters have a high plastic content, being situated off the North Atlantic Gyre, between the Gulf and Equatorial streams.

Local scientists here have studied thousands of creatures and found ~80% of seabirds and 90% of turtles to contain plastic in their digestive tracts.

 

Clean Sailors microplastics research
These last weeks, with Sail & Explore Association, we’ve been trawling to collect microplastic particles of various sizes, as well as zooplankton, to help us better understand the plastic soup upon which we sail, soup we can’t see so well from above the waterline.

 

Clean Sailors microplastics research

More to come soon at here at Clean Sailors and over at Henri-Lloyd!