There was more to the 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race than all out competition, as crews were asked to take seawater samples for scientific research.

The initiative, part of the race’s Sustainability Programme, was presented at the MICRO2018 conference, with the outcome gloomily unsurprising. More than 80 samples were taken by the Turn the Tide on Plastic and AkzoNobel teams, with the results finding that 93% of seawater analysed contained levels of microplastics.

Even more bleak is that between nine and 26 particles of microplastic per cubic metre were recorded at Point Nemo, the furthest place from land on Earth, where the nearest humans are on the International Space Station.