Amount and distribution of neustonic micro-plastic off the Western Sardinian coast (Central-Western Mediterranean Sea)

A plethora of different sampling methodologies has been used to document the presence of micro-plastic fragments in sea water. European Marine Strategy suggests to improve standard techniques to make future data comparable. We use Manta Trawl sampling technique to quantify abundance and distribution of micro-plastic fragments in Sardinian Sea (Western Mediterranean), and their relation with phthalates and organoclorine in the neustonic habitat. Our results highlight a quite high average plastic abundance value (0.15 items/m3), comparable to the levels detected in other areas of the Mediterranean. “Site” is the only factor that significantly explains the differences observed in micro-plastic densities. Contaminant levels show high spatial and temporal variation. In every station, HCB is the contaminant with the lowest concentration while PCBs shows the highest levels. This work, in line with Marine Strategy directives, represents a preliminary study for the analysis of plastic impact on marine environment of Sardinia.

Giuseppe Andrea de Lucia, Ilaria Caliani, Stefano Marra and al., Marine Environmental Research, Vol. 100, SI, pages 10-16, september 2014

The article

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