Plastic bringing waves of alien crabs and fish to shores around the world, scientists warn
‘Vastly underestimated’ problem could see foreign species invading far away coastlines after rafting on waste
Hundreds of alien species are being carried around the world on a tide of ocean plastic, posing a significant threat to native wildlife.
Crabs, clams and even large fish are among the creatures hitching a ride on top of or inside plastic vessels, crossing vast stretches of ocean.
Considering the harm foreign species can cause when introduced to new environments, scientists are concerned this quiet invasion is a disaster waiting to happen.
For Professor Jim Carlton, alarm bells began to ring as he investigated the sheer number of species that had arrived on American shores from Japan after a massive tsunami struck in 2011.
So far he has found nearly 400 Japanese creatures inhabiting the shorelines of Hawaii and mainland US after travelling thousands of miles across the sea, but he said on a global scale this is a drop in the ocean.
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