Swedish tanker company Concordia Maritime has, together with the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment (SIME) initiated a preliminary study to determine the feasibility of gathering information on the volume of microplastics in the oceans.
By installing a collection device on a tanker, water samples can be collected while it is underway for subsequent analysis by researchers. The aim is to draw conclusions as to the extent, distribution of microplastics and potential consequences for living organisms, according to the company.
The preliminary study, which is financed by Concordia Maritime, is also being conducted in collaboration with the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at The University of Gothenburg and Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI).
As explained, the volumes of microplastics in the oceans are a problem that has attracted increasing attention but so far, there is insufficient knowledge of either the volumes or the consequences for the environment and living organisms.
“We are happy to be able to implement this important study and are in favour of using our vessels to gather seawater samples, which can then be used for further analysis and research. The preliminary study will begin now and if the evaluation is positive, the project will run over a couple of years,” Ola Helgesson, CFO, Concordia Maritime, commented.
“The Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment wants to increase understanding of the problems in the marine environment and what we can do to tackle them. We compile scientific knowledge from different fields and assist authorities and other players in the marine environment with scientific expertise. The preliminary study we are now starting up together with Concordia Maritime is very much in line with our other activities and we are happy to be part of this important project,” Kajsa Tönnesson, Acting Director at the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment, said.