Best of our wild blogs: 21 Jul 14

22 Jul (Tue): Talk with three views of Singapore's wild shores!
from wild shores of singapore

20/2014 – Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (19 July 2014)
from Bugs & Insects of Singapore

greater racket-tailed drongo @ SBG - July 2014
from sgbeachbum

News Alert! – “$12k grant to help scientist make waves with clam research”
from Neo Mei Lin

Red-eared Slider @ Yishun
from Monday Morgue

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Pang Sua Pond in Bukit Panjang undergoes makeover

Sara Grosse Channel NewsAsia 20 Jul 14;

SINGAPORE: Pang Sua Pond in Bukit Panjang will be undergoing a S$6.8 million makeover under PUB's Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters Programme.

A new boardwalk will be built by 2016, which will allow residents to have greater connectivity to several facilities in the vicinity. New technologies are also being tested which could result in improved water quality.

Pang Sua Pond helps collect rainwater from its surrounding residential estates before it is pumped to the Upper Seletar Reservoir for storage.

The boardwalk will connect residents to facilities such as the Senja-Cashew Community Club, Bukit Panjang Neighbourhood 5 Park and the future 3G Wellness Centre. Two viewing decks will allow residents to enjoy the scenery, and there will also be a stage for outdoor performances.

The residents are looking forward to the changes.

Bukit Panjang resident Shirley Yeo said: "Of course it helps a lot because I do brisk-walking. So I can bring a group of people for activities. I also think the scenery is very nice and cooling."

A ground-breaking ceremony for the upcoming ABC Waters project was held on Sunday morning.

At the event, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan said the project is integrated with transport plans.

He said: "I want to have a way in which our children can walk, jog or cycle throughout the town without having to worry about vehicular traffic. So there again, the use of park connectors, the use of every water way, to build an integrated network that connects people at a human level is another key concept behind this plan."

Once the transformation of the pond is complete, the authorities are planning to do a test that could improve water quality in the pond. Plants that can remove unwanted nutrients in rainwater will be grown in one of the several canals connected to the pond.

Tan Nguan Sen, chief sustainability officer at PUB, said: "If it works, we want to do it in other parts of Singapore. The important thing is, we want to treat the water before it reaches the pond so the water in the pond will be cleaner."

To further improve water quality in Pang Sua Pond, aerators and a recirculation system will be installed.

The ABC Waters Programme was launched by PUB in 2006 to transform Singapore's water bodies beyond their utilitarian purpose into clean streams, rivers and lakes.

Over 100 potential locations have been identified for transformation over the next 20 years.

- CNA/fa/xq

$6.8million facelift for Bukit Panjang pond
Gurveen Kaur The Straits Times 21 Jul 14;

SINGAPORE - Normally considered an area out of reach for Bukit Panjang residents, Pang Sua pond will undergo a makeover so that residents can use it for physical and other recreational activities.

A new boardwalk around the 3ha storm-water collection pond will be constructed to connect residents to facilities such as the Senja-Cashew Community Club and Bukit Panjang Neighbourhood 5 Park.

Part of national water agency PUB's Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters Programme, the project will also include the building of two lookout decks and a multipurpose stage on the water for outdoor performances.

"Every pond, every waterway in Singapore is a potential community feature, and we will work with local communities to generate ideas so that there'll be facilities which families can use," said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan, who unveiled the $6.8 million project at the Senja-Cashew community club yesterday. It is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2016.

Dr Balakrishnan, an adviser to Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, added that the project will be integrated with transport plans for the neighbourhood.

"I want to have a way in which our children can walk, jog or cycle throughout the town without having to worry about vehicular traffic," he said.

PUB and the National University of Singapore, together with Dutch applied-research institute Deltares, will be test-bedding in-stream wetlands using plants such as pandan to absorb unwanted nutrients such as phosphorus from storm-water run-off before it reaches the pond.

"We want to treat the water before it reaches the pond so that the water quality in the pond will be improved," said Tan Nguan Sen, PUB's chief sustainability officer.

Shirley Yeo, 68, a Bukit Panjang resident, who leads a group of over 100 for brisk walks twice a week, is looking forward to the enhancements.

"I can take the group to walk in this area. The scenery is very nice and it's cool there," said the billing assistant.

$6.8m makeover for Bukit Panjang pond
Joanna Seow The Straits Times AsiaOne 23 Jul 14;

Plants could play a bigger role in treating the water that flows through Singapore's waterways in future.

In-stream wetlands - plants in canals and drains that extract unwanted nutrients from runoff water flowing into reservoirs - will be tested in Pang Sua East Canal from 2016.

They will be added as part of enhancement works to Pang Sua Pond in Bukit Panjang which began yesterday.

The $6.8 million project, part of national water agency PUB's Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters programme, is expected to be completed by the middle of 2016.

PUB's chief sustainability officer Tan Nguan Sen said that the local plants, such as fragrant pandan, will remove nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen from the water.

"We want to treat the water before it reaches the pond so that the water quality in the pond will be improved," he said at a groundbreaking event at Senja-Cashew Community Club, which is next to the pond.

The research is being done by PUB and the National University of Singapore with Dutch applied research institute Deltares, and if successful, could be rolled out to other waterways.

Other new features for the pond, which is around the size of four football fields, include a boardwalk and a multi-purpose stage on the water itself.

Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said yesterday that the boardwalks will be integrated with transport networks in the neighbourhood.

"Every pond, every waterway in Singapore is a potential community feature, and we'll work with local communities to generate ideas so that there'll be facilities which families can use," he said.

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EMA removes ‘hard cap’ on solar energy supply

Siau Ming En Today Online 21 Jul 14;

SINGAPORE — Nearly a year after the Energy Market Authority (EMA) announced plans to raise the cap for more power to be generated from intermittent generation sources, it has decided to make further tweaks to the arrangement to encourage the growth of solar energy generation here.

In a determination paper released earlier this month, the EMA said it would remove the present “hard cap” of 600 megawatt-peak (MWp) of solar energy that can be supplied to the grid. Instead, it would introduce a “dynamic pathway” approach, where more solar power can be stored in reserve — and supplied to the grid — if more is generated.

Intermittent generation sources are those whose output depends on environmental factors and weather conditions, such as solar and wind energy. At present, the only intermittent generation source connected to the national grid is solar power.

Reserve power from conventional generation sources, such as gas-fired power plants, is needed to manage intermittency — such as cloud cover, which can cause a drop in solar output — and ensure grid stability.

At the Singapore International Energy Week held last October, Second Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran launched a consultation paper to seek views on the proposed changes to the rules governing intermittent generation sources, such as to allow these sources to supply more power to the grid.

During the consultation exercise, the EMA received feedback that while raising the hard cap is a straightforward approach towards allowing intermittent generation sources to supply more power to the grid, the cap will also restrict the growth of solar energy in Singapore.

“Under (the new) approach, there is no hard cap on the amount of installed solar capacity in Singapore. If necessary, additional reserves capacity can be procured to back up a higher amount of solar capacity beyond 600MWp,” said the EMA.

Commenting on the move, Mr Shawn Tan, business development manager at solar-system developer Sunseap Leasing, told TODAY that while this approach means there will be an increased capacity for companies to take on more solar photovoltaic projects, it could also bring additional costs for them.

As more reserve capacity is needed to back up the potential increase in solar energy, Mr Tan said companies might now need to bear some of these costs, which could eventually affect the returns on installing a solar photovoltaic system.

Similarly, smaller contestable consumers — those with systems that are less than 1MWac — who install intermittent generation sources to offset on-site consumption will also find it easier to be paid for supplying excess electricity that they sell to the national grid. Contestable consumers are those who buy electricity from other service providers, instead of SP Services.

Players in the solar industry also noted that the present market-registration process — which requires them to register with the Energy Market Company to receive payments for excess electricity sold into the grid — is onerous. A new scheme, to be implemented between January and March next year, will allow consumers to be paid the energy cost of the electricity they export into the grid — currently 25.68 cents per kWh — through SP Services without going through the existing registration process.

Mr Christophe Inglin, managing director of Phoenix Solar, said this new pricing scheme would benefit customers, such as schools and non-air-conditioned warehouses, who shut down their operations on Sundays and public holidays.

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Indonesia: 154 hotspots detected in Riau

The Jakarta Post 20 Jul 14;

Terra and Aqua satellites detected 154 hotspots in areas across Riau province on Sunday, indicating forest and land fires had increased again following a decline in rainfall.

“The number of hotspots in Sumatra has reached 195, 154 of which are located in Riau,” Agus Wibowo, head of the data and information division at the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said as quoted by Antara in Pekanbaru, on Sunday.

He said the satellite observation results were obtained from the latest Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency’s (BMKG) report sent at 5 a.m. local time on Sunday.

The number of detected hotspots in today’s report was far higher than what had been reported one day prior, which had reached only 75 spots.

Agus said the hotspots were scattered in six regencies and municipalities, most of which were in northern Riau coastal areas. He said authorities should pay close attention to the situation because haze from the fires could potentially spread to Malaysia and Singapore, as the wind might blow from the south to areas in and around the Malacca Strait.

One hundred-and- thirty- one hotspots were detected in Rokan Hilir, making it the regency with the highest number of hotspots, followed by Bengkalis regency (13), Rokan Hulu regency (6), Pelalawan regency (2) and Dumai city and Kuantan Singingi regency with one hotspot each.

With data accuracy of more than 70 percent, Agus said, 98 hotspots were strongly indicated as fire hotspots.

“It is predicted that potential for fires is still high because rainfall is expected to be low in Riau. Chances of low-intensity rains, which are local in nature, during evening and early in the morning are predicted to occur in small parts of eastern and southern Riau,” said Agus.

Meanwhile, Sultan Syarif Kasim II Pekanbaru airport duty manager Ibnu Hasan said smoke had yet to disturb visibility, which had reached 5 kilometers at 7 a.m. local time on Sunday.

“It is still relatively safe,” he said.

However, the BMKG had detected a mixture of smoke from fires and haze in four areas, namely Dumai, Pekanbaru, Pelalawan and Rengat.

The Riau administration has yet to change the smoke disaster alert status in the province, even though the potential for land and forest fires in the area is still high and due to the impact of El NiƱo.

The Riau Haze Emergency Task Force has continued its efforts to tackle the fires by deploying fire fighters, three water bombing helicopters and by carrying out weather modification to produce artificial rain. (ebf)

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Vietnam’s marine ecosystems in danger

VietNamNet Bridge 20 Jul 14;

Vietnam’s diverse marine ecosystems are being threatened by human activity and natural disasters, affecting the lives of many people, especially the poor.

The country’s marine ecosystems includes 155,000 hectares of mangroves, 1,300 square kilometers of coral reefs, 500 square kilometers of lagoons, 16,000 hectares of seaweed and algae ecosystems, intertidal areas and estuaries.

The ecosystems provide many important services to people, with 20 million people indirectly influenced by the services and 8 million poor people living in the ecosystems.

According to the Centre for Marine Life Conservation and Community Development, the services of the coral reef ecosystem have an estimated total value of $100 million. One square kilometer of coral reefs can provide aquatic products worth $10,000.

In the Mekong River Delta, one square kilometer of mangroves can provide 450 kilos of aquatic products. The seaweed ecosystem brings aquatic products and services worth over $20 million, and lagoons can bring $2,000 per hectare.

The ecosystems not only bring economic value, but also help protect the living environment. The coral reefs in the central region protect the coastline, while the mangroves can reduce the land erosion and protect from typhoons and high tide.

One square meter of seaweed can create 10 liters of oxygen, helping balance O2 and CO2 in water and reduce greenhouse effects. Every acre of seaweed (0.44 hectare) can generate 10 tons of leaves every year.

The living mass provides food, habitats and breeding grounds to invertebrates and vertebrate species.


A survey of the Natural Resources and Maritime Environment Institute found that Vietnam’s maritime ecosystems have been diminishing over the last few decades.

Only one percent of the 1,300 square kilometers of coral reefs along the coastline is in good condition. The coral coverage fell sharply by 30 percent in 1993-2004.

Meanwhile, the mangrove ecosystem has shrunk since the beginning of the 20th century.

The survey also found that the aquatic creature volume caught on every hectare of lagoon fell by 50 percent in comparison with the last decade. The seaweed cover in Khanh Hoa province has shrunk by 80 hectares per annum.

Increasing human population, which leads to a higher demand for ecosystem services, has put pressure on the maritime ecosystems.

In 2000, Vietnam had only 250,000 hectares of shrimp hatchery areas, but the figure soared to 530,000 hectares in 2003. Vietnam is now listed among the countries with the largest shrimp-farming areas in the world.

Human production activities, including natural resource overexploitation, unsustainable aquaculture and industrial production, and climate change have also been damaging maritime ecosystems.

The Prime Minister in 2010 approved the maritime protection area (MPA) development program, under which Vietnam would have 16 MPAs with the total area of 169,617 hectares by 2020 and at least 0.24 percent of territorial waters belonging to MPAs, while 30 percent of every MPA area would be put under strict control.

Tin Tuc

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'Peak soil' threatens future global food security

Nigel Hunt and Sarah McFarlane PlanetArk 18 Jul 14;

The challenge of ensuring future food security as populations grow and diets change has its roots in soil, but the increasing degradation of the earth's thin skin is threatening to push up food prices and increase deforestation.

While the worries about peaking oil production have been eased by fresh sources released by hydraulic fracturing, concern about the depletion of the vital resource of soil is moving center stage.

"We know far more about the amount of oil there is globally and how long those stocks will last than we know about how much soil there is," said John Crawford, Director of the Sustainable Systems Program in Rothamsted Research in England.

"Under business as usual, the current soils that are in agricultural production will yield about 30 percent less than they would do otherwise by around 2050."

Surging food consumption has led to more intensive production, overgrazing and deforestation, all of which can strip soil of vital nutrients and beneficial micro-organisms, reduce its ability to hold water and make it more vulnerable to erosion.

Such factors, exacerbated by climate change, can ultimately lead to desertification, which in parts of China is partly blamed for the yellow dust storms that can cause hazardous pollution in Asia, sometimes even severe enough to cross the Pacific Ocean and reduce visibility in the western United States.

Arable land in areas varying from the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa, to the Middle East and Northern China has already been lost due to soil degradation.

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that 25 percent of agricultural land is highly degraded, while a further 8 percent is moderately degraded.


Crawford said the degradation of soil could in theory lead to more land being bought into agricultural production, which would deal a serious blow to efforts to stem climate change, since clearing forests for farmland leads to a heavy net increase in greenhouse gases.

"If we keep treating our soil the way we do, we will have to convert about 70 percent of the earth's surface into agriculture to meet demand for food by 2050 (from about 40 percent now)," Crawford said.

That is in part because there will be many more mouths to feed. The United Nations has projected that global population will reach 9.6 billion by 2050, up from 7.2 billion last year.

Emerging nations are also embracing Western diets that include more consumption of meat, which will add further to the strain on agricultural resources.

Crawford also noted that moderately degraded soil could only store about half the amount of water of good soil, adding to pressure on limited water resources.

"We need to find ways of pricing the true cost into food, including the environmental cost of soil degradation," Crawford added.

Food security became a hot topic after record high grain prices in 2008 marked the start of a period of volatility.

Agricultural markets are still unstable, after near-record prices in 2012 prompted increased production, which led to surpluses. [ID:nL6N0PM324]

Prices have since fallen back on the rebound in production and global stocks, with decent harvests expected in several major grain producers including the United States this year, but there's a risk of complacency on the long-term outlook.

"We are trying to make sure when we talk about food security we talk about healthy soil. The link has been missing to some extent," said Moujahed Achouri, Director of the FAO's Land and Water Division.

"We do believe there that now there is momentum (to tackle the soil problem)."

Price pressure and ultimately margin pressure can lead to farmers taking shortcuts to achieve something in the short term at the expense of the long term, said Nicholas Lodge, managing partner at Clarity, a Gulf-based agricultural investment firm.

"You can really have a harmful impact on soil in as little as one season," said Lodge.

"If you happen to have damaged the soil and you're losing the top soil, it's not then an easy matter to repair that situation or replace that soil."


One of the main drivers of soil degradation has been the trend towards less diversity in agriculture.

"In a lot of agriculture it has become a monoculture, so you just don't get the diversity of plants that are necessary for healthy soil, and often the agricultural practices are all about mining the soil rather than managing it," said Tim Hornibrook, head of Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management Limited.

Vietnam is one example of a country where there has been an increased focus on one crop with a huge surplus of robusta coffee grown to export to the global market.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also estimates that corn will be harvested on around 177 million hectares this year, a rise of around 65 percent over the last 50 years.

"Farming with monocultures leads to decreased productivity," Hornibrook said.

Excessive use of fertilisers can also cause damage to soil, at times altering its acidity or salinity in ways that reduce microbial activity and therefore ultimately plant growth.

More education in the farming sector on how to conserve soils, along with better use of technology, is expected to help tackle the problem.

"Technology which can help includes imagery which allows you to do soil mapping of what mineral and nutrients are in the soil and applying fertilizer according to the requirement of each individual area of the farm," said Hornibrook, adding that investment was challenging as the sector was fragmented and capital starved.

"The issue doesn't get addressed without capital. Investing in your soil costs money and therefore the ultimate way to incentivise farmers to do it is higher food prices."

But higher prices alone won't encourage consumption patterns that provide a healthy balance for both people and soil.

"Consumers make choices largely on price, farmers make decisions largely on profit," Crawford said, adding there was no clear incentive to encourage behavior that benefited health or the environment.

"We need to try and encourage better diets from a health and environment point of view."

(Editing by Veronica Brown and Will Waterman)

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Late monsoon starts Indian farmer's 'journey to hell'

Ratnajyoti Dutta PlanetArk 21 Jul 14;

Bhura will have to go and work for a big grower to feed his family of six, making 250 rupees ($4.00) a day, as he did when India suffered its last severe drought in 2009.

"I have no option but to become a bonded labourer just to feed my family one meal a day," said Bhura, 50, looking at his stunted crop on his third of a hectare of land.

Bhura's borderline existence is shared by many farmers in the district of Shamli, in the sugarcane belt of India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, three hours' drive north of the capital New Delhi.

With this year's monsoon rains several weeks late, the world's second-largest sugar and rice producer is on the verge of widespread drought in the face of a developing Pacific Ocean weather event known as El Nino, which is often associated with drought in South Asia.

In good years, the four-fifths of local farmers who tend a hectare or less, can get by. In bad years, they slide into debt. Some lose their land. Others are forced into servitude.

Hunger for land and water feeds social tensions. In nearby Muzaffarnagar, communal clashes last year killed about 65 people, most of them Muslims, and displaced thousands more. [ID:nL3N0N21M4]

India's farm sector accounts for about 14 percent of the economy but two thirds of its 1.2 billion people depend on farming to live. Most poor live on the land. Areas that lack irrigation are most vulnerable when the rains fail.

Although the national weather office said on Thursday that the monsoon had covered all of India, rainfall in the first six weeks of the wet season has been more than a third below normal.

A poor monsoon could raise imports of cooking oil to India, the leading buyer of vegetable oils. The country may also cede its position as top rice exporter to Thailand. [ID:nL4N0PK3CZ]

Cane and basmati rice fields in Shamli, a district carved out of Muzaffarnagar three years ago, showed gaping cracks on a recent visit.

"For me, my wife and two sons and two daughters, the journey to hell has already started. Our stomachs will be half empty soon," said Bhura, whose gaunt face and unkempt beard betrayed anxiety and exhaustion.


Even if the monsoon revives during the rest of the planting month of July, farmers here expect losses of at least a fifth in summer-sown crops like rice, corn, cane, soybean and cotton.

India harvested 348 million tonnes of cane last year, with an average sugar content of 11 percent.

Productivity in Uttar Pradesh typically lags that of other growing regions like subtropical Maharashtra due to poorer soils and a less favorable climate. Another two weeks without rain could lower both tonnage and sugar content, possibly to 8 percent, local farmers reckon.

Farmers worry the impact this year could be worse than five years ago, when India suffered its worst drought in four decades. Subsequent supply shortages from the country pushed New York sugar prices to 30-year highs.

"The rains improved in early July five years ago, but this year the dryness stretched beyond the second week of July," said Yogendra Singh, who mainly grows cane on five hectares of land.

Cane fields here are irrigated with water from canals built during British colonial rule. But the sturdy crop, planted twice a year, only blooms when it rains regularly.

"Canal water can initiate sowing activities in cane but water from the sky is vital for the nourishment and growth of the crop," said Singh, who retired from the Indian Air Force two decades ago to join his three brothers in farming.

Though production will fall this year, India will not have to trawl the global market for sugar because of surpluses piled up over the past four years.


Other farmers are turning away from cane to other crops that they hope will safeguard their incomes.

"I have switched to cultivation of banana as it promises much higher returns than cane or basmati rice," said Nameet Panwar, 24, who is just starting out farming one hectare of his family's land.

Panwar expects to earn a minimum of 1 million rupees ($16,600) from growing bananas, he says, more than twice that of cane even if the sugar plant is harvested twice a year.

Responding to the late monsoon, local authorities have put contingency plans into action, including providing quick-growing seed varieties of pulses to growers and ensuring adequate supplies of pesticides and insecticides at farmers' doorsteps.

"We too have in place a drought contingency plan to mitigate any situations arising due to rainfall that is 50 percent below normal," said district magistrate N.P. Singh. Marginal farmers would be given work digging wells. ($1=60.1050 Indian Rupees)

(Editing by Douglas Busvine and Richard Pullin)

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Plastic 'Trash Islands' Forming In Ocean Garbage Patch

Tia Ghose Yahoo News 20 Jul 14;

After returning from the Transpacific Yacht Race — an annual sailboat race from Los Angeles to Honolulu — in 1997, Capt. Charles Moore was guiding his boat through the doldrums when he noticed some plastic debris floating in the water.

Though it didn't seem like an overwhelming amount of trash, he recorded log entries every hour, noting the bits of debris in the water. Toothbrushes. Bottle caps. Eel traps. Floating nets. Soap bottles. On and on it went.

Given that he was in the Pacific Ocean, halfway between California and Hawaii, with nothing nearby, it was odd to find such a long stretch of trash, Moore said.

"It's the most remote part of our world," Moore told Live Science.

When he reached solid land, Moore told scientists about what he found, then returned two years later to assess the extent of the garbage patch using more scientific sampling methods.

And thus began the story of the great Pacific garbage patch, a swath of plastic debris, chemical sludge and other trash the size of Texas that is trapped in a vortex between ocean currents. [See Images of the Pacific's Trash Island]

More trash

Now, 15 years later Moore has returned to the garbage patch, along with five other people, to track its extent once again and study its impact on marine life. The expedition is part of Moore's organization, Algalita Marine Research Institute, a nonprofit focused on reducing marine plastic pollution. People can learn more about Moore's voyage at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, California, on Sunday (July 20), where he will be answering questions from his boat via a live satellite webcast.

One thing they've discovered so far is that there may be more trash on the ocean surface than previously thought. A 2014 study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the ocean's plastic may be mysteriously disappearing, with much less debris in the water than had been predicted, based on the global rates of plastic production and disposal.

But that estimate relied on trawling for trash with nets. On his current trip, Moore did a similar 4.5-mile (7.2 kilometer) trawl of the ocean, but also used drones to assess the extent of trash from above.

"We found 100 times more plastic by weight with the drone, than we estimated from the trawl," Moore said.

The team is also studying the impact of the plastic on marine life. So far, they have found that about 35 percent of the fish they sampled have swallowed some plastic, Moore said.

Plastic island

The team has also found more permanent fixtures in the garbage patch's landscape. For instance, the team has discovered a "trash island" more than 50 feet (15 meters) long, with "beaches," a "rocky coastline," and "underwater mountains" and reefs made up of ropes, buoys and other plastic debris, Moore said.

Mussels, clams, sea anemones and seaweed were found sheltering on this artificial island, Moore said.

Moore speculates that the island formed after the tsunami that battered Japan in 2011 swept a tremendous amount of ropes, buoys, mooring lines and anchors out to sea from Asian aquaculture farms that were harvesting mussels and oysters.

"It's showing signs of permanence," Moore said. "There will be a new floating world in our oceans if we don't stop polluting with plastics."

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