How the relentless plastic tide is taking its toll on wildlife of the Arctic: Shocking images show reindeer, polar bears and seals tangled in nets and ropes


Much of the debris found was relating to the fishing or maritime industries

  • A survey of the Arctic has found masses of plastic pollution killing wildlife 
  • Shocking scenes include a reindeer which became snared on fishing rope
  • Polar bears and birds  have been among the creatures affected by plastic 


We think of the Arctic as a pristine wilderness still untouched by human hand. These shocking images dispel that myth in brutal fashion.

One shows a reindeer who died after becoming tangled in a plastic fishing net – just one piece of masses of plastic waste found in the Arctic.

The velvet covering its antlers was ripped away during the creature’s desperate struggle to free itself, and its corpse is left bloodied by its ultimately futile efforts.

This dead reindeer was entangled in pieces of plastic fishing net in northern Norway

This polar bear  is dragging a large fishing net which has been dumped in the ocean 

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Plastic waste ‘building up’ in Arctic

Plastic wasteImage copyright GEIR WING GABRIELSEN
Image caption Plastic waste has been found everywhere that researchers have looked for it

Plastic waste is building up in the supposedly pristine wilderness of the Norwegian Arctic, scientists say.

Researchers are particularly concerned about huge concentrations of microplastic fragments in sea ice.

They say they’ve found plastic litter almost everywhere in the Arctic they have looked.

Norwegian fishermen are worried that their fish stocks may lose their reputation for being untouched by pollution.

Most of the large plastic waste there comes from discarded fishing gear.

And boat owners admit it will take hundreds of years to overcome a few reckless decades of using the sea as a dump.

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