The UK gets its first marine robot called WasteShark that keeps oceans free from plastic waste. International non-governmental organisation World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-UK) partnered with Sky Ocean Rescue, an organisation that aims to highlight issues affecting ocean health, to launch WasteShark.
The autonomous robot mostly functions on its own. WasteShark roams through distances of up to 5km of water. It captures microplastics, plastics, oils and other waste polluting the oceans. WaterShark is claimed to collect more than 15,000 kilograms waste a year if used five days a week. Additionally, it’s designed in such a way that it doesn’t release carbon or produce light or noise pollution. So, it doesn’t seem to harm nature.
According to WWF-UK, eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped in the oceans each year, which is horrible! Shockingly enough, 90 per cent of the world’s sea birds have plastic in their stomachs while 80 per cent of mussels taken from several beaches in the UK were found to contain microplastics, warns WWF-UK.
“Through our work with Sky Ocean Rescue, we are launching the WasteShark, to improve the health of our seas. This includes Marine Protected Areas (MPAs,) which, though designated for their environmental importance, face threats from a number of issues, including plastic pollution,” says WWF-UK.
The WasteShark marine robot is capable of navigating for up to eight hours straight on a single charge. It enables for deep integration of GPS coordinates. This way, it ensures to cover hotspots where waste gathers. However, WasteShark’s path can be customised and monitored remotely.
In addition to cleaning up the ocean waste, it can gather other valuable data about the marine ecosystem to help further studies.