nano particles of plastic in fish brains – altering behavior

Oceans Deeply
Report: Microplastic Can Penetrate Fish’s Brains, Altering Behavior/Written by Erica Cirino
For the first time scientists have shown that the smallest bits of marine plastic pollution – called nanoplastic – can move up the aquatic food chain and be absorbed by predators’ brains, affecting their ability to hunt.

NOAA Marine Debris grants- 2 funding opportunities available

The NOAA Marine Debris Program has just announced two federal funding opportunities for Fiscal Year 18, the “Marine Debris Removal” and “Marine Debris Prevention” grant competitions.
The Removal grant opportunity provides funding to support projects that will create long-term, quantifiable ecological habitat improvements for NOAA trust resources through on-the-ground marine debris removal activities, with priority for those targeting derelict fishing gear and other medium- and large-scale debris. Priority will be given to projects that also foster awareness of the effects of marine debris to further the conservation of living marine resource habitats, and contribute to the understanding of marine debris composition, distribution, and impacts. Proposals for removal grants are due November 1
The Prevention grant opportunity provides funding to support eligible organizations for activities to prevent the introduction of marine debris into the marine and coastal environment. Applicants requesting funding for projects to address a specific marine debris issue, and that will actively engage these groups in hands-on personal participation, are welcome to apply. Projects focused on efforts to prevent marine debris from entering the environment through targeted behavior change will be given priority. *Please note: to apply for marine debris prevention funding through this opportunity, applicants must first submit a Letter of Intent (LOI), via email, to, in accordance with the guidelines described in Section IV.B. of the funding opportunity announcement. The deadline for LOI submission is September 28, 2017. After NOAA reviews all submitted LOIs, only those invited to submit a full proposal will be considered for funding. Applicants will be notified by November 1, 2017 if they have been invited to submit a full proposal, which will be due on December 15, 2017.

Microbead free cosmetics law now in force in U.S.

Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 finally came into force last month. As of July 1, 2017 it is now unlawful to manufacture rinse-off cosmetic products with plastic microbeads in the US. Beginning July 1, 2018 it will be unlawful to sell such products in the US.

Do note that there is a 1-year delay in each case for over-the-counter drugs.

The full bill is at

Kenya has toughtest plastic bag ban

Kenya officially has the world’s toughest plastic-bag ban: importing, making, or selling plastic bags will now be punishable by fines of around $20,000 (the number varies in reporting between $19,000 to $38,000) or up to 4 years in jail.

The New York Times offers more details at And the BBC has more info at

For travelers, your duty-free plastic bags will need to be left at the airport upon arrival.

A Summary of the Literature on the Chemical Toxicity of Plastics Pollution on Aquatic Life …

The US EPA has published a new white paper on “A Summary of the Literature on the Chemical Toxicity of Plastics Pollution on Aquatic Life and Aquatic-Dependent Wildlife.”
Abstract: The amount of plastic debris, such as plastic bags and microbeads, entering marine and freshwater environments has increased significantly since the mass-production of plastics began in the 1940s and 1950s. The effect of plastic on aquatic organisms is not well understood beyond the obvious physical impacts. EPA has published a white paper to identify a state of the science on the toxicological effects of plastics and their associated chemicals on aquatic-dependent wildlife and aquatic life. The publication also identifies opportunities for research to improve the understanding of potential toxic impacts of plastic ingestion throughout the food web.

Marine litter resolution at the World Conservation Congress

The IUCN Members Assembly that was held last week as part of the World Conservation Congress in Honolulu passed a motion on marine litter. The motion recognizes the problem of marine plastic and calling on countries to prevent, reduce, and otherwise manage it.

The motion’s original proposed text was revised to emphasize the particular roles of microbeads and fish aggregation devices in contributing to the problem. Go here for the approved motion.

The motion was passed by 130 for 0 against member governments with 26 abstentions, and by 554 member non governmental organizations voting for, 7 opposed, with 126 abstentions.