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Cargo Containers Lost at Sea Another Form of Marine Debris
Beginning with a survey in 2011, researchers found that over the total nine-year period covered in its surveys, from 2008 through 2016, an average of 568 containers were lost at sea each year.

In late February 2004, the Med Taipei, en route to the Port of Los Angeles, lost 24 containers – 15 of them in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary south of San Francisco.  In June 2004, scientists with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute found one of them – holding 1,159 steel-belted car tires – resting upside down on the seafloor, at a depth of about 4,200 feet.

Using proceeds from a resulting legal settlement, the marine sanctuary has turned the container into a kind of science experiment, monitoring the impact site to track decomposition rates along with “potential impacts over time of steel containers and contents, as well as the recovery rates of natural habitats in the deep seafloor,” according to the sanctuary’s website.

These lost containers are another form of marine debris and the impact on organisms and communities in the deep sea is still being identified.



 


 
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