Of all urgent pollution threats, the growing problem of microplastics is what really makes experts sweat. Microplastics are plastic pieces between one micrometer and five millimetres in size, and some particles are so small that they are invisible without a microscope.
There are many reasons why this type of pollution is of particular concern. Microplastic is first of all hard – or even impossible – to get rid of. It threatens the existence of aquatic animals and organisms, and researchers are still not sure how it can affect humans. It is even possible that people can ingest microplastic when they eat seafood.
The new EU project GoJelly aims to use the jellyfish in the fight against microplastics. The mucus from the jellyfish can be used to develop a “bio-filter”, which can absorb microplastics. According to Gemini Research News, the biofilter can be used in municipal water treatment plants to prevent microplastic to enter the sea. The Norwegian research institute SINTEF and The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) are a part of the project. Together with fishermen and reasearchers across Europe, they will harvest jellyfish to be used in the project.
Read more about the GoJelly project at Gemini’s news page.