Ocean plastic could triple in decade
The amount of plastic in the ocean(海洋中塑料) is set to(将) triple(翻三倍) in a decade unless litter(垃圾) is curbed(得到扼制), a major report has warned.
Plastics(塑料) is just one issue facing the world's seas, along with rising sea levels(海平面上升), warming oceans(海洋变暖), and pollution, it says.
But the Foresight Future of the Sea Report for the UK government said there are also opportunities to cash in(盈利) on the "ocean economy"(海洋经济).
They say this is predicted to(预计) double to(翻一番至) $3 trillion (£2 trillion) by 2030.
The report says much more knowledge is needed about the ocean. The authors say the world needs a Mission to "Planet Ocean" to mirror the excitement of voyaging to(前往) the moon and Mars.
The Foresight reports are written by experts to brief(向…介绍基本情况) ministers on medium and long-term(中长期的) issues of significance. This one has been signed off(终止) by ministers from four different departments as the authors emphasise(强调) the need for a joined-up(表现出成熟老练的) oceans policy(海洋政策).
One of the authors, Prof Edward Hill from the UK National Oceanography Centre told BBC News: "The ocean is critical(重要的) to our economic future. Nine billion people will be looking to the ocean for more food. Yet we know so little of what's down there.
"We invest a lot of money and enthusiasm for(对......投入了巨大的金钱与热情) missions to space - but there's nothing living out there. The sea bed(海床) is teeming with(充满了) life. We really need a mission to planet ocean - it's the last frontier."
Another of the authors, the chief scientist for the UK government's environment department Ian Boyd, agreed: "The ocean is out of sight, out of mind(眼不见心不烦)," he said.
He told BBC News: "There's a continuous process of exploring for new things to exploit(开发) in the oceans, and that's happening faster than we scientists can keep up with(跟上节奏). My suspicion is legislation(立法) is also struggling to keep up - and obviously there are risks in that."
He said offshore(近海的) wind farms(风力发电厂), oil industries(石油加工厂) and mining firms(采矿公司) were spreading into unexplored areas(未开发的地方). "Scientists need to get in there faster than the commercial people or at least at the same time - to put proper regulation in place to govern(管理) those industries."