Assessment of marine debris on the coastal wetland of Martil in the North-East of Morocco

Plastic waste at the coastal wetland in Martil beach in the North-East of Morocco is one of the problems that have appeared recently. This study aims to characterize the marine debris in the coast of Martil during the year 2015. The sampling is seasonally by type and size. The result shows, for the macro debris, the abundance of plastic (57%), lumber and paper (21.93%), cloth and fabric (7.8%), glass (5.42%), metal (4.40%), and rubber (3.4%). Micro debris is also present in the area in several forms such as wood, plants, and others by 75,63%. This was followed by the foam (26,95%), line (7,8%), and the film (1,23%). The seasonal variation (S1: January–March and S3: July to September) are the most polluted months of the year. The sources of marine debris are mainly tourism (beach users), land (run off), and commercial fishing in the four seasons of the year.

Adel Alshawafi, Mohamed Analla, Ebrahim Alwashali, Mustapha Aksissou, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 117, Issues 1–2, 15 April 2017, Pages 302–310

The article

Plastics in the North Atlantic garbage patch: A boat-microbe for hitchhikers and plastic degraders

Plastic is a broad name given to different polymers with high molecular weight that impact wildlife. Their fragmentation leads to a continuum of debris sizes (meso to microplastics) entrapped in gyres and colonized by microorganisms. In the present work, the structure of eukaryotes, bacteria and Archaea was studied by a metabarcoding approach, and statistical analysis associated with network building was used to define a core microbiome at the plastic surface. Most of the bacteria significantly associated with the plastic waste originated from non-marine ecosystems, and numerous species can be considered as hitchhikers, whereas others act as keystone species (e.g., Rhodobacterales, Rhizobiales, Streptomycetales and Cyanobacteria) in the biofilm. The chemical analysis provides evidence for a specific colonization of the polymers. Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria significantly dominated mesoplastics consisting of poly(ethylene terephthalate) and polystyrene. Polyethylene was also dominated by these bacterial classes and Actinobacteria. Microplastics were made of polyethylene but differed in their crystallinity, and the majorities were colonized by Betaproteobacteria. Our study indicated that the bacteria inhabiting plastics harboured distinct metabolisms from those present in the surrounding water. For instance, the metabolic pathway involved in xenobiotic degradation was overrepresented on the plastic surface.

Debroas Didier, Mone Anne, Ter Halle Alexandra, Science of The Total Environment, Volumes 599–600, 1 December 2017, Pages 1222–1232

The article

Seasonal and spatial variations of marine litter on the south-eastern Black Sea coast

The south-eastern Black Sea coast in Turkey was evaluated for marine litter composition and density covering nine beaches during four seasons. The marine litter (> 2 cm in size), was collected from the coast and categorized into material and usage categories. The data analysis showed that plastic was the most abundant litter (≥ 61.65%) by count and weight followed by styrofoam and fabric. The marine litter density ranged from 0.03 to 0.58 with a mean (± SD) of 0.16 ± 0.02 items/m2 by count. Based on weight, it varied between 0.44 and 14.74 g/m2 with 3.35 ± 1.63. The east side had a higher marine litter density than the west side with significant differences between beaches. The variations due to different seasons were not significant for any beach. The results of this study should provide baseline information about the coastal marine pollution and will assist the mitigation strategies.

Yahya Terzi, Kadir Seyhan, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Available online 10 May 2017, In Press

The article

Floating marine litter as a raft for drifting voyages for Planes minutus (Crustacea: Decapoda: Grapsidae) and Liocarcinus navigator (Crustacea: Decapoda: Polybiidae)

The Columbus crab Planes minutus and Arch-fronted swimming crab Liocarcinus navigator, within their distribution ranges in the Mediterranean, were found rafted on plastic macro-litter floating on the open south Adriatic. While P. minutus was recorded from inanimate flotsam outside of the Mediterranean, L. navigator is herein reported for the first time on floating marine litter. The role of floating litter as habitat or as a dispersal agent for marine invertebrates has received quite attention however, records of decapod crabs drifting on litter has been relatively sparse. Our results suggests that vast quantities of floating debris, comprised primarily of non-biodegradable plastic polymers, probably will augment natural floating substrates in the marine environment, potentially facilitating the spread of invasive species. The dispersion of rafting crabs through floating debris should be investigated given the high potential ecological risk of invasion by exotic species due to the increase in waste production (ecological risk assessment).

P. Tutman, K. Kapiris, M. Kirinčić, A. Pallaoro, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Available online 14 May 2017, In Press

The article

Occurrence of Marine Litter in the Marine Environment: A World Panorama of Floating and Seafloor Plastics

The marine environment is directly linked to human life. Healthy oceans have always been important to mankind as all life depends on them. Nowadays, marine litter, mainly plastic, is found widespread in the environment, in all sea compartments, posing one of the major threats for the marine environment. To date, the fate of this litter is still questionable and the identification of areas where litter permanently accumulates is a major challenge.

In the present chapter, a world panorama is given in respect to the occurrence of floating and seafloor plastics. Information on floating micro-, meso-, and macro-plastics is given, as well as information on plastics of size bigger than 10 mm lying on the seafloor (shallow waters, continental shelf, deep-sea environments) of world’s seas.

Christos Ioakeimidis, François Galgani, George Papatheodorou, Chapter, Part of the series The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry pp 1-28, Date: 30 April 2017

The chapter

Bioturbation transports secondary microplastics to deeper layers in soft marine sediments of the northern Baltic Sea

Microplastics (MPs) are observed to be present on the seafloor ranging from coastal areas to deep seas. Because bioturbation alters the distribution of natural particles on inhabited soft bottoms, a mesocosm experiment with common benthic invertebrates was conducted to study their effect on the distribution of secondary MPs (different-sized pieces of fishing line < 1 mm). During the study period of three weeks, the benthic community increased MP concentration in the depth of 1.7–5.1 cm in the sediment. The experiment revealed a clear vertical gradient in MP distribution with their abundance being highest in the uppermost parts of the sediment and decreasing with depth. The Baltic clam Macoma balthica was the only study animal that ingested MPs. This study highlights the need to further examine the vertical distribution of MPs in natural sediments to reliably assess their abundance on the seafloor as well as their potential impacts on benthic communities.

Pinja Näkki, Outi Setälä, Maiju Lehtiniemi, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Available online 25 April 2017, In Press

The article