Because the scientists who discovered this new species are concerned with the global plastic’s crisis, and the state of marine ecosystems, in an effort to raise awareness and push for action, they decided that it was only fitting to name the newly found creature after the very substance that contaminates our seas, and gives it one of its distinct traits: plastic.
Because of this decision, plastics have now officially entered the taxonomic record as a new species.
Dr. Alan Jamieson, head of the research mission, said: “We decided on the name Eurythenes plasticus as we wanted to highlight the fact that we need to take immediate action to stop the deluge of plastic waste into our oceans.”
Because only one specimen was found to contain the plastic contaminant, there is still hope that ending the marine plastic pollution crisis now will keep other individuals of E. plasticus plastic-free; a reminder of plastic pollution in name only.
This is a global problem that requires global solutions. WWF is calling for an international, legally binding treaty to end marine plastic pollution. We are asking supporters to sign our global petition to ask governments of the world to support such a treaty that puts an end to this issue in advance of the 5th UN Environmental Assembly (UNEA) in February 2021, where leaders will be able to adopt a negotiation mandate so that the treaty would be ready to be signed at UNEA-6.
95% of the oceans still remain unexplored. Every day new marine species are discovered. And every minute of every day, at least one truckload of plastic waste is dumped into our oceans – equivalent to 1,440 truckloads each day.
Just a few days ago, we celebrated World Wildlife Day under the banner of “sustaining all life on Earth”. It is imperative that we continue to fight for sustaining and protecting all life in our oceans and on land from the emergency threat of plastic pollution, so that Eurythenes plasticus be the only “plastic” species in the taxonomic record, and the last of its kind.
The Yucatan Times
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