Oceanic plastic trash conveys disease to coral reefs

A scuba diver checking coral reefs in the Red Sea off the southern Israeli resort city of Eilat

We've known that our planet's coral reefs were dying, an ecological tragedy that came to a head last spring when it was widely reported that Australia's Great Barrier Reef was mostly dead, and likely not salvageable.

The researchers, from James Cook University in Australia, found plastic on one-third of the reefs they surveyed in the region.

Lamb said the good news in light of the findings published in Science is plastic pollution is something that can be more easily dealt with in the short term than numerous other problems, by helping countries in Southeast Asia reduce the amount of plastic garbage going into the ocean. Bacterial pathogens ride aboard the plastics, disturbing delicate coral tissues and their microbiome. "That equates to an estimated 15.7 billion plastic items on coral reefs across the Asia-Pacific by 2025", she said.

The plastic may stress the corals by blocking light and oxygen from reaching them or cut into the coral's flesh or rub against it, creating a wound that bacteria can get in.

In order to assess how much plastic there is in the reefs, worldwide researchers surveyed more than 150 reefs for four years (from 2011 to 2014).

Lamb and colleagues surveyed 159 coral reefs from Indonesia, Australia, Myanmar and Thailand, visually examining almost 125,000 reef-building corals for tissue loss and disease lesions.

While it might not be immediately clear how this pollution epidemic affects us here on land, our economy relies on those reefs considerably. Coral reefs are responsible for yearly $375 billion in goods and services related to fishing, tourism, and coastal protection.

Memphis Depay Strikes A Wonder Goal In Last Minute vs PSG
Depay moved into space around the penalty area and unleashed a blistering strike from 25 meters (yards) into the top left corner. Metz goalkeeper Kawashima Eiji was sent off in the 50th minute following a reckless foul on Adama Diakhaby outside the box.

"Plastic waste can promote microbial colonization by pathogens implicated in outbreaks of disease in the ocean", the researchers write. "Our study indicates that decreasing the levels of plastic debris entering the ocean by improving waste management infrastructure is critical for reducing the amount of debris on coral reefs and the associated risk of disease and structural damage".

"The likelihood of disease increases from four percent to 89 percent when corals are in contact with plastic", researchers report in the journal Science.

With coral reefs already under pressure from climate change and mass bleaching events, our findings reveal another significant threat to the world's corals and the ecosystems and livelihoods they support.

But Lamb found a different environment in Southeast Asia, home to some of the world's most diverse and lovely coral reefs.

"Any compromise like that is going to make creatures more susceptible to the risks of other diseases". It was the idea of a graduate student, Joleah Lamb. "Our study adds plastic waste to that ever growing list".

Exactly how the plastic is causing disease is still unclear.

"We know that plastics are widespread in the ocean, and it's no surprise to me that corals are encountering them", said Professor Richard Thompson, a marine biologist at the University of Plymouth who was not involved in the study.

Related News:

  • Space X's Falcon Heavy finally fires up for the first time

    Space X's Falcon Heavy finally fires up for the first time

    At a conference in July, Musk said , "I hope it makes it far enough beyond the pad so that it does not cause pad damage". Musk has said the payload "will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn't blow up on ascent".

    "Murphy Brown" returning to CBS with 13-episode run starring Candice Bergen

    Faith Ford, Joe Regalbuto and Grant Shaud all have busy TV careers. The original Murphy Brown aired on CBS from 1988 to 1998. Original creator Diane English is also returning.
    Not too late for flu shots

    Not too late for flu shots

    While children and people over 65 are most vulnerable, the flu can have complications or be fatal to people of all ages. Most people diagnosed with the flu will recover without any lasting problems, instead, they just won't feel their best.
  • See the first photos of Brie Larson as Captain Marvel

    See the first photos of Brie Larson as Captain Marvel

    Because this is all very early in the production, we could see a different version of the costume later on down the line. But, despite the fan theories, this likely hasn't been done for purposes of CG.
    Campbell wants Arsenal balance - Can they do it?

    Campbell wants Arsenal balance - Can they do it?

    And according to The Times, Mkhitaryan has been included in the swap deal as Mourinho has doubts over his mental strength. Mkhitaryan is cup-tied in that competition, so could make his debut against Swansea next week.
    Jordan's king urges Pence to rebuild trust in Middle East

    Jordan's king urges Pence to rebuild trust in Middle East

    Pence spoke in glowing terms of the long alliance between the United States and Israel, framing it as part of an epic battle . Pence is set to deliver a speech to the Israeli Knesset, or parliament, later in the day.
  • Donaldson delights in Dubai as McIlroy maintains fine form

    Donaldson delights in Dubai as McIlroy maintains fine form

    I feel like I started off past year a little bit sort of 71, 70 instead of getting right into the thick of things from the start.
    French & German leaders set out their economic visions at Davos forum

    French & German leaders set out their economic visions at Davos forum

    Several other European leaders also speaking yesterday, at the start of a potentially turbulent year for the continent. Top US officials said his trip was meant to defend US interests while also promoting global partnerships.
    Unemployment Rate Drops In December, But So Did Labor Force

    Unemployment Rate Drops In December, But So Did Labor Force

    Arkansas' civilian labor force decreased 10,088, a result of 10,167 fewer employed and 79 more unemployed Arkansans. Trade, transportation and warehousing dropped by 300 jobs, and the retail portion was unchanged over the month.
  • Apple previews iOS 11.3

    Apple previews iOS 11.3

    For example, users could view virtual, interactive exhibits in museums or animate images in movie posters, according to Apple. This will launch in United States with support of select businesses like Discover, Hilton, Lowe's and Wells Fargo .
    Arsenal inch closer to Aubameyang signing with Giroud agreeing terms

    Arsenal inch closer to Aubameyang signing with Giroud agreeing terms

    Aubameyang's future has been a subject of speculation ever since the forward has demanded to leave Dortmund almost a year ago. Arsenal have had their latest bid for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - a bid that was reportedly £50 million - rejected.
    Woman Missing In Gulf Of Mexico After Falling From Carnvial Cruise Ship

    Woman Missing In Gulf Of Mexico After Falling From Carnvial Cruise Ship

    The Carnival cruise ship is scheduled to arrive back in the United States on January 25, 2018. Friday's incident is the second death aboard a Carnival Cruise Lines ship in recent months.


Most liked

Rowan Professor on Why Upcoming Super Blue Blood Moon Is So Super
For the first time in over a century, a Blue Moon, a Supermoon, and a Blood Moon will all coincide on the same day. By that time, however, the moon will already have set in the eastern time zone.

UK should lead the world in safe, ethical AI
Trump has also not imposed his proposed 45% tariff on Chinese imports nor his 20% tariff on Mexican imports, until now at least. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said he has "really liked" what President Donald Trump has done with the economy.

Confirmed: Vince McMahon Is Bringing Back The XFL
The new XFL also won't include the politics many believed have plagued the National Football League in recent years, he said. He will still be the chairman and head of WWE creative.

These are the first monkeys cloned using the "Dolly the sheep" method
The SCNT technique consists of transferring the cell's nucleus from one animal's cell into another's egg with its nucleus removed. The scientists say they followed strict worldwide guidelines for animal research , set by the US National Institutes of Health.

Democratic mayors decline White House invite, anger Trump
We will repeat what we have said time and again, Denver does not violate section 1373 and complies with all federal laws. Adler requested that state officials send DOJ several documents related to the state's sanctuary status by February 23.

All Africa Music Awards to pay tribute to jazz legend Hugh Masekela
A year later, he published his autobiography, Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela (co-authored with D. In 1990 Masekela returned home , following the unbanning of the ANC and the release of Mandela.

Meryl Streep to Star in 'Big Little Lies' Season 2 for HBO
Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman , who plays Perry's widow, Celeste, are scheduled to return. Her other forays into TV include voice work on "The Simpsons" and "King of the Hill".

CNN Promotes Porn Star's Strip Club Tour
In 2011, Daniels said she was now remorseful about the impact of the affair on Trump's marriage to the first lady. Pence spoke to The Associated Press during a visit to Jerusalem on Monday.

Megyn Kelly Addressed That Awkward Plastic Surgery Interview Moment With Jane Fonda
Then she took a shot at her character! She just believed that it didn't belong in the context of that short and breezy interview. Kotb and Guthrie burst out laughing before changing the subject from their NBC co-worker. " Today " reps declined to comment.

Saudi-led coalition announces $1.5-bn aid to Yemen
More than three-quarters of Yemen's population - 22.2 million people - are now dependent on aid in Yemen, the United Nations says. Canadian-made combat vehicles have been photographed and filmed being deployed by the Saudis in the fighting in Yemen.

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank Engaged, Royal Wedding in Autumn
In three tweets - which were retweeted by the Duke of York - Sarah Duchess of York expressed her happiness at the news. The couple met through common friend at the Swiss ski resort of Verbier in 2010.

Train crash at Richmond, NSW
A train has hit the buffers at Richmond station, in Sydney's north-west, with reports of multiple injuries. NSW Fire and Rescue said three people were initially trapped inside the train , but have now been freed.

Pence: US to open embassy in Jerusalem in 2019
Another Knesset member reportedly yelled , "You are free to give up IN but not Jerusalem! " - referring to Pence's home state. Pence's remarks reflected an interim plan to retrofit an existing USA consulate in Jerusalem to serve as a full embassy.

Shooting reported at Texas high school, gunman in custody
A 15-year-old girl was hospitalized after a shooting in a cafeteria at a Texas school this morning, local officials said. Police were seen responding the the active shooting, where the suspected gunman was taken into custody. .

PA Supreme Court strikes down congressional maps, rules gerrymandering unconstitutional
Something else, the judges said they will receive an arrangement with an end goal to keep the May 15 essential race on track. In a conference call with reporters, McKenzie referred to the map as "one of the worst gerrymanders in American history".