Microplastic pollution in the Clyde sea area: a study using the indicator species Nephrops norvegicus

Microplastic pollution has been identified as an ever increasing proportion of marine litter. Despite an increase in microplastic awareness over the last decade, it represents an as yet unquantified threat to the marine environment. The relatively few studies that monitor its distribution and impact have illustrated a range of worrying effects on marine habitats and communities. The Clyde Sea Area (CSA) is subject to many sources of terrestrial and maritime plastic input. The use of plastics in recreational and commercial vessels throughout the CSA is believed to result in large levels of microplastic fibres, which have previously been seen to be ingested by a range of marine organisms. In a study of the breakdown of commonly used polymers in benthic environments, it was found that ropes of 10 mm diameter in sub-tidal conditions release between 0.086 and 0.422g of microfibers per meter per month in the early stages of degradation. (…)

Welden, Natalie Ann Cooper, PhD thesis, University of Glasgow, October 2014

The thesis

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