Microplastics – Removal by Deep-Sea Larvacean Animals

According to a June 3, 2020 Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) news release https://www.mbari.org/deep-piv-3d-flow/ deep-sea larvacean animals are abundant throughout the world’s ocean basins - They create balloon-like mucous webs, have soft, gelatinous bodies and collect food using elaborate mucous filters – “... Inside these outer filters are smaller, fist-sized inner filters that the animals use to feed on tiny particles and organisms ... Despite their insubstantial bodies, larvaceans remove vast amounts of carbon-rich food out of the surrounding water. When their mucous filters become clogged the animals release the mucus, which sinks rapidly to the seafloor. This helps the ocean remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and carries microplastics from the water column down to the seafloor …” - This is the first study to provide quantitative data about these mucus structures in the open ocean - #Microplastics #MBARI