A new study claims that after being trapped in plastic bottles, more than half a million crabs have been killed.
The research studied the population of a strawberry hermit crab. Research selected two survey sites which were remote tropical island locations - Henderson Island, South Pacific, and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the Indian Ocean.
The criteria behind the selection of these sites was that both were highly polluted by plastics. On the beaches and near vegetation, around 38m and 414m pieces of debris were found on Henderson Island and Cocos Islands respectively.
The study observed that 61,000 crabs died on Henderson Island and 508,000 crabs died on Cocos Islands.
The study observed that in oceans, wildlife ingest plastic while on land it acts as a barrier for their free movement or traps.
The research was conducted by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, the University of Tasmania, the Natural History Museum, London, and the Two Hands Project, a community science organization and is published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials.
In tropical environmental ecosystems, crabs have an important role to play. They disperse seeds and aerate and fertilize the soil. Crabs give visitors a chance to observe wildlife thus playing a role in tourism and for islands tourism is an important source of employment for local people.
Authors say that the study demands an urgent need for an action to protect the crab population. Also, though it was conducted for the islands the plastic pollution is a global problem.
Tags : Plastic Pollution, New Research, Plastic Bottles,