Message in a bottle project launches with new scientific trackers

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On World Ocean Day, June 8, a collaboration of scientific institutions and ocean groups from around the world – including the University of Plymouth – are launching scientific monitoring devices into the ocean. Seven devices, one for each G7 nation, will be launched into ocean currents around the G7 Summit’s Cornish venue ahead of the Summit starting later this week (11 June).

The launch is designed to increase understanding of how plastic pollution behaves in the ocean. Designed to mimic a single-use plastic drinks bottle, the devices will respond to currents and winds as real bottles do.

They could potentially travel hundreds of miles over the course of the project, passing over deep ocean trenches, across major migratory routes for marine mammals and birds and out into the High Seas. Each device will gather vital data to help scientists understand how plastic moves across the ocean and the potential risk it poses to marine wildlife along the way. The data will also be fed into ocean observing systems and used to ground truth ocean current observations and models.

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