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September 28 2012
The first traces of plastic debris have been found in what was thought to be the pristine environment of the Southern Ocean, according to a study released in London by the French scientific research vessel Tara.
The finding comes following a two-and-a-half-year, 70,000-mile voyage by the schooner across the Atlantic, Pacific, Antarctic and Indian Oceans, to investigate marine ecosystems and biodiversity under climate change.
"We had always assumed that this was a pristine environment, very little touched by human beings," said Chris Bowler, scientific co-ordinator of Tara Oceans. "The fact that we found these plastics is a sign that the reach of human beings is truly planetary in scale.".
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