New publication about microplastic distribution in surface sediments along the Spanish Mediterranean continental shelf
Scientists of the Oceanographic Centers of Vigo and Murcia of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) evaluated the presence of microplastics in the Mediterranean coast in a study they just published in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research. This study aims to be a tool to evaluate potential impacts of microplastics on the marine ecosystem and to search for solutions to this environmental threat.
Microplastics (MPs) are widely recognised as a contaminant of emerging concern in the marine environment. This work provides original data of the presence of microplastics in coastal sediments along the Spanish Mediterranean continental shelf. Ten surface sediment samples were collected in order to document baseline microplastic distribution from Algeciras to Barcelona (samplig locations: Algeciras, Malaga, Castell de Ferro, Almeria, Cartagena, Benidorm, Benicarló, Vallcarca, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca) to carry out the study of the presence and distribution of microplastics. For all analysed locations, the dominant microplastic type was fibres (82.9%), followed by fragments, and the main colours were transparent and blue. The presence and distribution of microplastics in the study areas depends on various factors, such as population density, depth, tides, waves, direct discharges, tourism, etc. This study has confirmed the widespread distribution of MPs in surface sediments from the Spanish Mediterranean continental shelf, and these data are useful to define baselines for microplastics in the Western Mediterranean region.
Reference: Filgueiras, A.V., Gago, J., Campillo, J.A., & León, V.M. (2019). Microplastic distribution in surface sediments along the Spanish Mediterranean continental shelf. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. doi: 10.1007 / s11356-019-05341-5