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

Microplastics pollution after the removal of the Costa Concordia wreck: First evidences from a biomonitoring case study

Microplastics (MPs) represent a matter of growing concern for the marine environment. Their ingestion has been documented in several species worldwide, but the impact of specific anthropogenic activities remains largely unexplored. In this study, MPs were characterized in different benthic fish sampled after 2.5 years of huge engineering operations for the parbuckling project on the Costa Concordia wreck at Giglio Island. Fish collected in proximity of the wreck showed a high ingestion of microplastics compared to both fish from a control area and values reported worldwide. Also the elevated percentage of nylon, polypropylene lines and the presence of polystyrene are quite unusual for marine organisms sampled in natural field conditions, thus supporting the possible relationship of ingested microplastics with maritime operations during wreck removal. On the other hand, the use of transplanted mussels revealed a lower frequency of ingested MPs, and did not discriminate differences between the wreck and the control area. Some variations were observed in terms of typology and size of particles between surface- and bottom-caged mussels highlighting the influence of a different distribution of MPs along the water column. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that MPs pollution in the area of Costa Concordia was more evident on benthonic environment than on seawater column, providing novel insights on the possibility of using appropriate sentinel organisms for monitoring specific anthropogenic sources of MPs pollution in the marine environment.

Carlo Giacomo Avio, Lara Roberta Cardelli, Stefania Gorbi and al., Environmental Pollution, Volume 227, August 2017,  Pages 207–214

The article

Plastic litter in sediments from the coasts of south Tuscany (Tyrrhenian Sea)

This study estimated the total loads of plastic litter (macro-meso- and micro-plastics) in sediments from a wide stretch of marine and coastal environment of Tyrrhenian Sea. The prevailing category of debris was microplastic. The results obtained, in terms of average amount of microplastic per kilogram of dry sediment, are in agreement with data reported by various Authors internationally. The study area resulted to be uniform for plastic items levels. Particularly evident was the influence of a flood, occurred in November 2012 in Talamone, on sediments collected at the harbour of this locality: in this area, a difference in levels and quality of plastic debris, attributable to periods before and after the flood, was observed in sediments. In addition to focusing on the effect of this phenomenon, this study gives an important overview, for what concerns the presence of plastic litter, of a significant naturalistic area.

Susanna Cannas, Paolo Fastelli, Cristiana Guerranti, Monia Renzi, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Available online 12 April 2017, In Press

The article

Exceptionally high abundances of microplastics in the oligotrophic Israeli Mediterranean coastal waters

Seasonal sea surface microplastic distribution was recorded at 17 sites along the Israeli Mediterranean coast. Microplastics (0.3–5 mm) were found in all samples, with a mean abundance of 7.68 ± 2.38 particles/m3 or 1,518,340 particles/km2. Some areas had higher abundances of microplastics than others, although differences were neither consistent nor statistically significant. In some cases microplastic particles were found floating in large patches. One of these patches contained an extraordinary number of plastic particles; 324 particles/m3 or 64,812,600 particles/km2. Microplastic abundances in Israeli coastal waters are disturbingly high; mean values were 1–2 orders of magnitude higher than abundances reported in other parts of the world. Light-colored (white or transparent) fragments were by far more abundant than all other microplastic colors and types. The results of this study underline the need for action to reduce the flux of plastics to the marine environment.

Noam van der Hal, Asaf Ariel, Dror L. Angel, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 116, Issues 1–2, 15 March 2017, Pages 151–155

The article

Micro- and mesoplastics in Northeast Levantine coast of Turkey: The preliminary results from surface samples

The determination of the microplastic distribution will be beneficial as a measure of the potential effects on the environment. The Mediterranean Sea had a high risk of pollution as it was enclosed by highly populated and industrialized countries. Here, we determined the level of micro- and mesoplastic pollution in Iskenderun and Mersin Bays, located in the Northeastern Levantine coast of Turkey. The average level of both micro- and mesoplastic was determined to be 0.376 item/m2 at seven stations. The highest level was determined in Mersin Bay at the mouth of the Seyhan river (Station no. 7, with 906 items), and the lowest level was found in Station no. 4 in Iskenderun Bay (78 items). As a result of this study, it was determined that the microplastic pollution level in the Mediterranean coast of Turkey was similar to the other regions of the Mediterranean Sea.

Sedat Gündoğdu, Cem Çevik, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 118, Issues 1–2, 15 May 2017, Pages 341–347

The article

The first assessment of marine debris in a Site of Community Importance in the north-western Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean Sea)

At present, few studies have investigated the marine litter abundance, composition and distribution on rocky bottoms due to sampling constraints. We surveyed by means of the ROV imaging technique a system of biogenic rocky outcrops classified as a Site of Community Importance in the Adriatic Sea. A mean density of 3.3 (± 1.8) items/100 m2 was recorded, with a strong dominance of fishing- and aquaculture-related debris, accounting for 69.4% and 18.9% of the total, respectively. The abundance of litter over the rocky bottoms was significantly higher than that on soft substrates, and its spatial distribution proved to be related to hydrographic factors. Litter-fauna interactions were high, with most of the debris (65.7%) entangling or covering benthic organisms, in particular habitat constructors such as the endangered sea sponge Geodia cydonium. Unless appropriate measures are undertaken to address this problem, the abundance of marine litter in the area is likely to increase.

Valentina Melli, Michela Angiolillo, Francesca Ronchi and al., Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 114, Issue 2, 30 January 2017, Pages 821–830

The article

Sources, composition and spatial distribution of marine debris along the Mediterranean coast of Israel

Marine debris (litter) is a complex problem that affects human activities and the marine environment worldwide. The Clean Coast Program in Israel has had some success in keeping most of the coasts clean most of the time, but without understanding the mechanisms of accumulation of marine debris on the coasts of Israel. In 2012, we initiated a study to characterize the types of marine debris, its origins and spatial distribution. Nineteen surveys were done from June 2012 to March 2015 on eight beaches that spanned the coast of Israel. Average debris density was 12.1 items per 100 m2 and 90% of the items were plastic. The top debris categories were food wrappers and disposables, plastic bags and cigarette butts. However, there was variation in the top debris categories among the beaches indicating that a flexible approach with multiple options will be important when addressing the marine debris problem.

Galia Pasternak, Dov Zviely, Christine A. Ribic, Asaf Ariel, Ehud Spanier, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 114, Issue 2, 30 January 2017, Pages 1036–1045

The article