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Eastern European Association of the Greens supported Greenpeace initiative to create an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary

June, 19, in Frankfurt, Germany, Greenpeace held an action to collect signatures in order to save the Antarctic and make it Sanctuary. President of Eastern European Association of the Greens Alexander Kamenets joined the colleagues and supported their initiative.

Greenpeace calls to create the largest protected area on Earth: an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary. It would ensure a safe home for future generations of animals, and protect the waters from industrial fishing vessels, currently sucking up the tiny shrimp-like krill, on which all Antarctic life relies.

The Antarctic ocean supports an abundance of incredible life: penguins, whales, fish, seals, and colossal squid. But a warming climate and expanding industrial fishing are threatening this vital ocean and its iconic creatures.

Recently Greenpeace expedition found plastic pollution and hazardous chemicals in remote Antarctic waters. Laboratory analysis of water and snow samples, gathered during a recent Greenpeace expedition to the Antarctic, has revealed the presence of microplastics and persistent chemicals, respectively, in the majority of samples tested.

Seven of the eight sea-surface water samples tested contained microplastic, such as microfibres (at least one microplastic element per 1 litre sample). In addition, nine samples were taken using a manta trawland analysed for microplastics. Microplastic fragments were detected in two samples. Seven of the nine snow samples tested contained detectable concentrations of the persistent chemicals per- and polyfluorinated alkylated substances, or PFASs. These chemicals are widely used in many industrial processes and consumer products and have been linked to reproductive and developmental issues in wildlife. The snow samples gathered included freshly-fallen snow, suggesting the hazardous chemicals were deposited from the atmosphere.

There are relatively few data for microplastics in Antarctic waters, and this analysis provides valuable new information on the presence and status of such contamination in the region.

Eastern European Association of the Greens expresses a deep concern on this issue and absolutely supports the initiative by signing the petition. We believe that only together we are able to change our future for better and save our planet.