World's oceans threatened by floating trash

CBC News Last Updated: April 1, 2014

No evidence of a crash, but lots of garbage. So far that's what the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has uncovered, highlighting the rubbish problem in the world's oceans. The Indian Ocean contains one of five major ocean gyres — rotating whirlpools of water — believed to trap huge collections of trash in its currents. The other four massive gyres are located in the North Pacific, South Pacific, North Atlantic and South Atlantic.

Ocean debris can cause damage to animals that swallow the plastic, either accidentally or mistaking it for food. Some experts suggest the smaller plastic particles — which fish could mistake for plankton — may absorb potentially harmful chemicals swirling in the waters. We take a look at the five major gyres in the world and the top 10 trash found in the oceans.

Ocean gyres map

Sources: 5Gyres Institute, CBC, news wires, Ocean Conservancy