It is a relevant question in recent years that the quality of our seas and oceans is deteriorating at an alarming rate. First in the list of causes of this ongoing process is the pollution due to plastics.
Based on estimates, over 150 million tons of plastics have already accumulated in the world’s oceans. To this already large amount, up to 12.7 million tons are added every year.
This is not the only factor that intervenes in the alteration of the marine ecosystem. Seas and oceans are also confronted with:
- the rise in water temperature
- the acidity of the oceans
- over exploitation of fisheries.
In this alarming picture, those who seem to suffer in a particular way is a specific marine creature: the jellyfish. These conditions, in fact, seem to favour their proliferation and gathering in large masses, called “blooms”. A consequence that has very negative effects on tourism, on aquaculture, on fish farms and on the prosperity of coastal communities.
The EU-funded GoJelly project was launched recently, which examined both phenomena, pollution caused by plastics and jellyfish blooms. The approach was to try to find a solution starting from the problem of the proliferation of jellyfish and using it as a starting point to discover how to reduce microplastic waste in the world’s oceans.
The solution found is a microplastic waste filter obtainable from the mucus produced by jellyfish. Its density has the capacity to bind the microplastics, creating a real filter to be used for commercial and public use.
The biofilter created can be used in wastewater treatments plants and factories where microplastic is produced, contributing to prevent the arrival of the same in marine systems.
Once developed, GoJelly biofilter will be tested and proven in Norwegian, Baltic and Mediterranean seas by a wide range of stakeholders, including commercial fishermen, and industry partners.