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Pelagic Red Crabs Outside Monterey Bay Aquarium

Microplastic particles are not only common from the surface to the seafloor, but they're also being eaten by animals such as giant larvaceans and pelagic red crabs and incorporated into marine food webs.

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Plastic on the Beach

Most plastic pollution in the ocean originates on land. This study confirmed the origin of ocean microplastics sampled was from consumer plastic products such as single-use drink bottles and to-go containers, not from fishing gear.

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Larvacean Sampler

Using MBARI's underwater robots, equipped with sampling devices designed specifically for this project, the researchers filtered plastic particles out of seawater on multiple occasions at two different locations and at various depths--from five to 1,000 meters below the surface of Monterey Bay, California.

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Giant Larvacean

Microplastic particles are not only common from the surface to the seafloor, but they're also being eaten by animals such as giant larvaceans and pelagic red crabs and incorporated into marine food webs.

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Pelagic Red Crab

Microplastic particles are not only common from the surface to the seafloor, but they're also being eaten by animals such as giant larvaceans and pelagic red crabs and incorporated into marine food webs.

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Seagull Eating Pelagic Red Crab

Microplastic particles are being eaten by animals such as pelagic red crabs and incorporated into marine food webs.

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MBARI Underwater Robots

Using MBARI's underwater robots, equipped with sampling devices designed specifically for this project, the researchers filtered plastic particles out of seawater on multiple occasions at two different locations and at various depths--from five to 1,000 meters below the surface of Monterey Bay, California.

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Anela Choy

The groundbreaking research was a joint effort by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and Monterey Bay Aquarium. Anela Choy, lead author of the paper, conducted the research while a postdoctoral fellow at MBARI.

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Surrogate-reared Otter Release

A surrogate-reared otter released into Elkhorn Slough by Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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Surrogate-reared Otter Release

A surrogate-reared otter released into Elkhorn Slough in 2009 by Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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